Friday 2 May 2014

Live Review: Jaws + Haus, Undertone Cardiff 30/04/2014

Unless you've been living under some kind of rock for the last year or so I'm sure you'll be all too aware of the bubbling scene to emerge from the suburban B-Town streets. Nestled amongst names like Troumaca, Swim Deep and Baby Pink (rip) Jaws earn a rightful place in being one of the freshest new talents set on causing waves of rippled excitement. Returning to Cardiff for the second time in as little as a year the young four-piece make their way to 10 Feet Tall's sister venue Undertone to put on a raucous display of shimmering guitar pop. Support for the night came from rather apt London six-piece Haus. Already a big fan of their music they put on a fine display of Indie-Pop perfection as jangly guitars fluttered amongst synthesisded basslines. It's always a great sight to see a band enjoying themselves and lead singer Jack Bushell looked to be having a great time thanking the crowd profusely between songs with a cheeky grin etched on his face. With limbs beginning to loosen and the audience enticed closer to the front the energy began to scintillate above its lukewarm temperature with the band doing a great job in setting the scene for Jaws.

With a slightly longer wait between acts through what looked to be technical difficulties the band finally emerged on to the stage dressed in their signature oversized baggy jumpers and t-shirts. Now I know Jaws seem to incorporate the whole 'slacker-rock' vibe in to their image but lead singer Conor Schofield looked more than disinterested in his performance to say the least. Whether that's the style they're going for who knows but I'm a lot more used to seeing bands get loose on stage which often helps with crowd interaction, something that also seemed to lack this evening. From a friend's recent remarks on her trip to their London show I was always going to be a little apprehensive about how the night would pan out with the crowd there being made up of pre-pubescent teens but thankfully that wasn't to be the case here and with a bit of encouragement from Haus jumping and dancing at the sideline the atmosphere soon began to pick up.

As the band finally got in to the swing of things their abilities began to shine through with new single Think Too Much, Feel Too Little sounding equally great live as it does on record as jangly guitars shone a cliquant radiancy throughout the venue. "This is going to be our last song, erm because of shit stuff, yeah cool" utters Schofield as they broke in to previous single Gold. Who knows what this "shit stuff" was but sadly it was be a short & sweet set from the Midlanders, much to the disapproval of the now amped and vibrant Cardiff crowd. Thankfully the chants for an encore were all too great to resit as the band were persuaded to play one final song. I think it'd be harsh to criticise them as musicians as they definitely don't lack aptitude, clearly demonstrated through their recent 'Milkshake' EP but I can't help but feel this evening's performance fell slightly short of the mark. With tracks like Breeze and Stay In proving all their worth through enchanting vocals and audaciously sublime melodies, all the more congruent live, I know for certain with a little polishing here and there they'll be on fine form, it's just a shame tonight was over just as they began to warm up.


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