Before i left the house last night, for the trip to The Lexington, there was a downpour of biblical proportions (i’m an Londoner, therefore i tend to over exaggerate … an inch of snow becomes a foot etc … you get the picture). There was a brief moments thought somewhere in the cloudy region at the back of my mind that said “don’t go out .. stay in … there’s double Storage Wars at 20:00 and a two day old take-away curry in the fridge”. It was a however just that … a brief thought … and thankfully my sometimes fleeting will-power marched me to the station. On reflection, missing last nights ‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’ and ‘Fatherson’ gig would have been tantamount to musical blasphemy.
‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’ were on the final leg of their European tour, promoting the release of their third album ‘Unravelling’. The evening was a celebration to a ‘job well done’ as the Scottish 5 piece (multi-instrumentalist Stuart McGachan is now the band’s fifth member) played out a triumphant set to a sold out Lexington.
There were moments through-out that left you open mouthed as hits old, and obviously new, showcased not only the bands extensive back catalogue but also just how good the same catalogue actually is. They’re a band who seem to go about their business quietly and with minimum fuss but still have the ability to write songs that contain anthemic qualities. Last nights performance completely consumed me and the end result was quite simply one of the gigs best i’ve seen in 2014.
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The new material was in evidence from the very first song of the evening. ‘Safety in Numbers’ set the tone for the rest of the set and immediately gave us a glimpse into this wonderful, darker new sound the band have adopted. ‘Night Terror’, one of the strongest tracks from the new album followed and its thrashing guitars, wonderful chorus and enormous drums received its well deserved applause.
But it was two older tracks that stole the limelight. If you’re familiar with the band then it would come as no surprise that ‘Quiet Little Voices’ was last nights star pupil. It remains one of the strongest indie-rock tracks of the last 5 years and never seems to lose any of it’s energy or likability. Seeing this played out live was a blessing and i felt a little envy towards the Canadians and US fans who’ll get a chance to see this when the band start part 2 of their promotion tour. However, it was ‘Human Error’, from the bands 2011 LP ‘In the Pit of the Stomach’ that will remain with me for the coming weeks. Sure, it’s not as high up in the popularity stakes as the previously mentioned ‘Quiet Little Voices’ but watching it performed last night you suddenly realised just what a great live outfit the band are. ‘Human Error’ not only showcased a great tune but also the togetherness and presence the band have on stage
The powerful ‘Disconnecting’ slowed things down a little and it’s dark and broody tones were a quite wonderful addition to what was a fairly high tempo’d set.
Fellow Scots ‘Fatherson’ were in support last night. We featured them on GIGsoup at the beginning of the year and last nights show was the first time i’d had the opportunity to see them live. For those who never arrive in time for support bands then ‘more fool you’. ‘Fatherson’ were quite incredible and are deserving of their own stage, something i would confidently predict isn’t too far away.
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Their performance was as strong as the main acts and their opening track ‘An Island’ was one of the most beautiful pieces of music i’ve been fortunate enough to see in many a year. Like their stage buddies ‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’ the band have a stage presence that is natural and un-forced.
‘Half the Things’, from the bands debut 2014 album ‘I Am an Island’ was certainly a highlight but the epic ‘Kiteers’ seemed to persuade audience members to move their attention from the bar to stage front.
‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’ now cross the Atlantic to continue their tour. ‘Fatherson’ return north of the border deservedly patting themselves on the back, the length of the M1, for a job well done.