As Jaws descended into the belly of The Magnet, Getintothis’ Amy Farnworth was there to capture all the action.
The frenzied crowd edged closer to the stage at the sold-out gig in Magnet, as Jaws entered, bathed in a white light, their shadowy silhouettes creating an air of mystery, the atmosphere buzzing with anticipation.
The guy from Cleethorpes, who we’d been chatting to throughout the support, bid us adieu as he and his girlfriend bolted into the mosh-pit of abyss, stating, “Sorry but we gotta go, this is the reason we came all this way. Enjoy the gig!”
And that was it; that was the moment it became obvious – Jaws had some dedicated fans, and none more involved with the band’s presence than the ones down the front – the head-boppers, the crowd-surfers, the beer-swilling (sometimes beer-throwing) young kids who were excited, if not ecstatic to be in the throes of pure, gig-going ecstasy.
A slight technical fault marred the vocals on the band’s opening tune, with Connor Schofield’s endearing voice indistinguishable above the welcomed noise of their familiar dreamy, Cure-esque sound.
As the techies sorted the problem, the band played on, unwilling to let the rambunctious crowd down, unwilling to compromise their polished set.
And with this set came great adoration, especially on Think Too Much Feel Too Little, when the band hardly had to sing, as the fan feedback was overpowering, the whole floor belting out: “We get it, we get it, it’s over. I go back to being alone”.
Interspersing tracks from early EP, Milkshake, debut album, Be Slowly, and 2016’s, Simplicity, the Birmingham outfit’s interaction with fans was minimal, but it didn’t need to be any more than that, as the majority of the crowd were either climbing on top of each other, surfing willingly about the front row, throwing themselves back and forth and generally having a right good time. Drummer, Eddy Geach, predicted this would happen at the gig, when he told Getintothis’, Mark Rowley, “We’re going to have a big old jolly playing our songs.”
Any cynic could rip apart the band comparing them to The Cure or Circa Waves et al, boasting about how they’ve used too many samples or what not, but those cynics don’t matter, as clearly, all that matters is the fans, the reception and the noise. And as they continued, shrouded in a soft light, Jaws’ mellow surf-pop, tinged with heavy drums, carried over the air, the fans begging for more with their non-stop energy, Schofield proclaiming: “This is actually the best crowd of the tour.”
Launching into Just A Boy, before playing the ever popular, Be Slowly, it was hard to pick only one stand-out track of the night, as the band absolutely nailed every single tune, particularly the rouser, Stay In, which echoed: “Close my eyes to see, my mind torture me, don’t wanna see, new memory.”
Connor Schofield rounded off the night by admitting that the band, “couldn’t be arsed going off stage to come back on for the encore,” as the room they would be ushered into was tiny. So, much to the delight of their fans, they remained in place, and played 2012’s Toucan Surf before finishing with Gold.
Jaws’ live performance was energetic; the lads are musically tight, and witnessing the gig in an intimate venue only served the imagination – just how would they sound, look and be received at an outdoor festival, such as Neighbourhood, with the sun shining and the mosh-pit a hell of a lot bigger than the one formed tonight? The only answer I could come up with was, ‘Sick; they would probably be sick.’
Supporting Jaws were London four-piece, Social Contract, who provided a loud, heavy and fast set, channelling their inner Joy Division in a passionate and fresh manner. Vocals flitted between Ian Curtis style melancholic drone, to Orlando Weeks’ Maccabees-esque strain.
Leeds outfit, Marsicans, headed up the support and looked really happy to be performing; with their 80s Duran Duran image setting their indie-pop sound off to a tee. The drummer provided bags of entertainment with his animated expressions as the quartet energetically jumped from jangly melody to uplifting pop riff, injecting some radiance into the room – look out for tracks, Friends and Too Good. Definitely ones to watch
Images by Getintothis’ Tom Adam