Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Live review: JAWS, The Magic Gang, Tropic of Youth @ The Plug, Sheffield

With the success of recently released single Think Too Much, Feel Too Little making it into the top 10 on the iTunes alternative charts, Birmingham boys JAWS head off on tour. Of course, any tour wouldnt be complete without stopping off in Sheffield for a greatly received show at The Plug.

First to support were local band Tropic of Youth who opened the night with a set full of summer haziness, beachy vibes and danceable melodies. Singles Poa Kichizi Kama Ndizi (Swahili for Crazy Cool Like a Banana) and You brought about a youthful sound featuring lilting guitars and bouncing bass-lines alongside dreamy vocals creating that hot tropic summer we all wish we had here in Sheffield.

Tropic of Youth

Next up were Brightons The Magic Gang who graced the stage with a sound similar to their vintage style featuring retro guitars and distorted vocals, reminiscent of 90s grunge and the early days of rock and roll. Tracks She Wont Ghost and Shallows projected a melancholic feel across the venue and with main vocals from both Jack Kaye and Kristian Smith, this mixed up the set giving it a rough-edged rawness that worked both instrumentally and lyrically. 
The Magic Youth

After much anticipation, JAWS entered stage opening with the hook-laden garage pop track Time before going into the distorted opening of Donut which flowed straight into beachy surf rock.  And who said that mans best friend is a dog? Frontman Connor Schofield introduced the next song with this one goes out to anyone with a cat and the band burst into the billowing synths of Friend Like You featured in the last series of Made In Chelsea, one of Schofield's self-stated favourite TV show.

Latest release Think Too Much, Feel Too Little opened with rhythmic guitars and punchy percussion that lulled the crowd into a euphoric whirl of dancing and crowd surfing whilst the dreamy drones of Schofield's vocals drifted over smooth bass-lines. Lyrics 'we get it, we get it, it's over / I go back to being alone' spoke of the tales of teen-carelessness and heartache which connected well with the adolescent crowd. Toucan Surf also channelled the relatable with lyrics theres not a lot for me to do when Im sitting on my own alongside glittering guitars and bouncy rhythms that received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. 
Connor of JAWS

There was an effortlessness surrounding the performance and the blissful, laid-back feeling that JAWS are renowned for really shone through. However, this didnt stop the crowd from going a little bit crazy to near every song, including the likes of Breeze one of the bands slower-paced shimmering synth-laden tracks. Bassist Jake Cooper said: I dont think weve ever had anyone mosh so hard, if someone falls down make sure you pick them up. This wasnt the only act of kindness from the boys as the closed with fan-favourite Gold and drummer Ed Geach proceeded to hand out drumsticks to lucky members of the crowd, whilst Jake knuckle touched a few fans on the front row.

Have you caught JAWS on their April-May tour? Let us know what you thought below!

Words by Ellen Offredy

Alex of JAWS
Ed of JAWS

Jake of JAWS

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