The Birmingham four-piece brought their trance inducing alt-rock sound to a sold-out King Tuts.
Jaws do melancholy very well. Their latest release, Simplicity, is an album that manages to take on the themes of anxiety, uncertainty and depression and transform them, over the course of 11 songs, into something bitter-sweet and hopeful. The lyrics are dark, but the sound is bright, loud, dreamy.
All of this makes for a great, rounded album - it has peaks, valleys and interludes; is excellently mixed and cleverly structured. But how does it go down live?
Brilliantly, as it happens. Jaws played a sold-out show at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut the other night (Sunday 27th November) and we were blown away with how great their performance was.
As the band took to the stage and launched into Just a Boy - the first track off Simplicity - it’s clear that there’ll be no fluff on offer tonight. This song makes for a great opener, both live and on record, because of it’s sheer loudness; a contrast to a lot the band’s previous output.
The core of Jaws’ sound comes from singer, frontman and principle songwriter Connor Schofield; his reverb-drenched guitar tone, droning vocal delivery and cyclical lyrics help give a trance-inducing quality to the music.
“I’m not good at talking”Schofield says early on in the night “so I’ll just say thank you and keep playing more songs.”
And on they kept coming, each song showcasing a different aspect of Jaws’ sound. The core stays the same - reverb and tons of it - but subtle differences here and there display how thoughtfully composed the songs are, and how sensitive the band on stage are to Schofield’s writing. The drummer switches out his snare drums and sometimes uses electronic pads to great effect, the bassist’s rich and articulate tone helps tie the ‘verby guitars down - and was that a touch of Synth we heard through playback?
The crowd were loving it, with plenty singing along to the cathartic lyrics, and a fair bit of dancing to some of their more “The 1975” inspired songs.
Schofield Tweeted, after the show:“Shout out Glasgow, I can’t talk anymore but I can Tweet. That was SICK.”
Burnt out vocal cords as an exception; everybody left the gig feeling a little better than when they arrived.