Over the years, Manchester Academy 3 has played a vital role in introducing ‘the north’ to some seriously fresh talent, and last Friday was no exception.
The talented quartet taking to the stage this evening were Jaws, a band who call Birmingham home, and like both Swim Deep and Peace, are part of the city’s growing indie, dream pop, scene that has recently taken the rest of the country by storm.
First up to support the Brummie boys were local lads, Spring King; one of the finest bands I’ve seen in a very long time. Gracing the stage with a collective coolness, they appeared genuinely pleased to be on stage which later echoed in their delivery of songs; an upbeat, almost anarchic collection of tremendous tunes that certainly pleased the largely teenage audience, likely to ‘share’ these guys across Tumblr like wild-fire. Drawing similarities to Minneapolis band ‘Nice Purse’, their quirky sound was certainly a crowd-pleaser.
Next up were Happyness; a London trio that certainly fulfilled that emotion. Providing a mixture of effortlessly, downcast, pop and reflective, slow beat, jams from their debut album ‘Weird Little Birthday’. They are what can only be described as a slightly (only slightly) optimistic version of Radiohead; but that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Their sound has an intelligence about it, it’s reflective and charming, and certainly succeeded in mesmerising an audience of hyped adolescents for a good half hour.
Before long, the youthful crowd piped up again; likely due to a mixture of impatience, underage alcohol consumption and the fact it was finally the weekend. Granting their fidgety wishes, Jaws finally took to the stage and the applause was immense. The lads were clearly enjoying the love as they blasted out ‘Surround You’, a sparkling cocktail of synths and big drums, a transfixing tune that succeeds in transporting you back to the sunny, sunshine filled summer days of simpler days. The lads continued to deliver goodness, with smash-sing along hits such as ‘Swim’ and ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ and the audience really felt it.
It’s was clear the demographic of the night’s crowd were going through that confusingly happy, explorative, period of early teenage life so often spoken about within the band’s lyrics; a time of overwhelming potential and hope. In a quest to perhaps give the crowd a breather, the boys treated us to some new tracks. Taking a more alternative, heavy route, some may have regarded this debut risky business in front of an audience so in love with the band’s current sound; but that risk certainly paid off as the crowd cheered, remaining totally enthralled.
With a smiles upon their faces, the boys said their thanks and waved goodbye to a severely sweaty bunch of fans. Last Friday night, Jaws were kings, kings to a kingdom of sunshine indie-pop teen fans anyway.