Jaws with Clubs, Surf, Feedback Voice, Murmur
O2 Academy Leicester
23 January 2013
By Steve Kilmister
Arriving at the darkened Leicester Academy Scholar Bar just after 7pm, the room was already filling. Noting the pale blue lighting and single center spotlight I could only hope that the evenings musical offerings would be brighter than the setting.
Kicking things off were Murmur, a fresh-faced, four piece Indie rock band from Leicester. With a vocal and musical style similar to their self-admitted influences The Arctic Monkeys and with a cover of ‘R U Mine?’ it was very difficult not to draw comparisons between them and the arena-filling band from Sheffield. While Murmur aren’t ready for arenas, they did offer up a set that despite some minor miscues and sound issues gave promise of a bright future.
Feedback Voice were on next and, by the time they made a start, the growing crowd filled the floor in front of the Scholar Bar stage. An instrumental intro gave way to the band’s first offering ‘Novelette’, the audience appearing to appreciate their laid-back yet surprisingly technical sound. The four piece from Hinckley offered up plenty of original material, including older tracks such as ‘CATz’, the crowd pleasing ‘Cash Couplets’ and a yet untitled track debuted with lyrics for the first time. Fending off an annoying buzz that somehow managed to make its way into the mix and fighting with an unruly mic stand didn’t get in the way of FBV delivering a solid set.
Surf is the new project from former members of Hallowed People, Olly Cassidy and Hayden Desai, and from the response of the audience tonight I would say their fan-base is happy with the new direction and lineup. Their mellow, sunny vibe and chilled bass lines were very well received, prompting plenty of movement from the still growing crowd. Their overall sound carried any misgivings from the slightly limited lyrical content of some of their set list.
Playing a sold out show at the Cookie just prior to Christmas and making the cover of the January edition of free Leicester music magazine the Monograph you could say things are looking bright for Clubs and, based on their performance, I can see why. All five of the lads from Leicester sounded spot on, tight drumming and grooving bass lines paved the way for some great guitar work and excellent vocals all adding to a sound that really seemed to fill the venue. Although the crowd was a little reluctant to take up lead singer CJ Pandit’s invitation to clap along, the set was well received, the highlight being their new track ‘Bleed’.
After a lengthy full-stage rebuild the evening’s headliners Jaws arrived to a crowd reaction that can only described as an eruption, with girls and guys alike cramming to the front and appearing to know what was likely to ensue.
Jaws’ bright, almost glittery pop sound is set with a harder edge, and feels fresh while also being laced with a 90s retro air. The set tonight included the likes of ‘Toucan Surf’, ‘Stay In’, ‘Breeze’ and crowd favorite ‘Gold’, from the outset all were received like anthems. The whole set was well delivered, regardless of a few minor technical hitches that tried to get in the way, although it appeared that the partisan crowd were oblivious to such things.
There is no denying the attention that Jaws appear to be attracting, and based on their performance at the Leicester Academy, I would say it’s well deserved if for nothing more than their ability to incite a crowd sing-along and produce the most melodic, dancy pit you’ll likely ever see.