Sunday, July 21, 2024

JAWS + Heavy Waves + Red Method + Laced + Muddy Soul Dancers, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham 08/04/13

“Birmingham is the best place in the world” declares Connor Schofield, lead singer of Jaws and bearer of heart shaped sunglasses. Is he right? We’ll let you decide from these two simple facts: firstly, it seems that any band that has been placed on the music radar in the past year has originated from the land of Brum, developing the rather ridiculous but heartfelt “B-Town” stigma. And secondly, any city that holds gigs that involve bouncing beach balls, confetti and inflatable sharks is surely a good’un, right? Tonight, the Hare & Hounds is chock full of 90s revivalist teens, doting parents and the familiar faces that pop up at most Birmingham gigs, every one of them forming the backbone of the *SOLD OUT* headline that was splashed across Jaws’ advertisement.
With an array of artists on display, Muddy Soul Dancers were first to amble onto the stage their music coming out in the form of muffled vocals and abrasive guitar riffs. Blends of Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins seep through their sound and verge slightly on grunge but root more deeply in alt-rock.
IMG_8016muddyMuddy Soul Dancers
Meanwhile, tonight’s dream-pop quota is filled by Laced whose frenetic and varied instrumentals suit the contrasting five piece down to a tee. Ethereal but experimental, the band permeated a shoegazed slot in the evenings proceedings.
Things got a little hot and heavy when Red Method’s vest top clad frontman took to the stage with comparisons to All Time Low and You Me At Six floating around the stifling building and their pop punk sound doing nothing to quash it. Their music seems a world away from the dark indie that creeps through the Brum scene of late and their youthful, playful quality drew in a whole different set of fans.
IMG_7082redmethodRed Method
Heavy Waves cut loose on their fuzz-pop sound pre-empting the deadbeat beach feel that finished the night. Their lo-fi live act sounded more engaging and forceful than recordings on the Internet and left audience members citing just how great the band were, exceeding everyone’s expectations and allocating them a nice little place on the hype pedestal.
IMG_7164hwHeavy Waves
After a storming DJ set by fellow B-Towners Wide Eyed who showcase “West Madlands” finest with tracks by Peace and Swim Deep as well as Superfood’s debut track the ante is well and truly upped. Succeeding a circling moshpit to Smells Like Teen Spirit and Arctic Monkey’s Sun Goes Down Jaws take to the stage to a pumped up and lively audience.
45 minutes just doesn’t seem long enough (as noted by bassist Jake) and Jaws’ set is over before anyone actually realises what has just happened. Garage pop at its finest, Jaws’ lazy, summer drenched sound complimented by fluctuant guitars and indifferent lyrics offer something new to the well attuned Brummie music scene fan.
The audience are essentially in love and every song is met by whoops and groans of adulation whilst double a-side single “Stay In” highlights the irresistible drone of Connor’s unique vocal and lets the audience sing the refrain over and over again. More mosh pits ensue as soon as the synth drenched intro of set closer “Surround You” kicks in. It’s the perfect ending to what felt like a 90s beach party in a sweaty pub in Kings Heath.
If there were any suggestions that Jaws are riding on the coat tails of Peace and Swim Deep, this gig confirms that they have set loose and are ready to make their own B-Town waves.
Photographs by Jonathan Morgan.