Arriving late, cold, and drenched, I was more than ready to bask in the fuzzy indie warmth of Mystery Jets. Why was so I late to the show I was supposed to be reviewing, you ask? It’s Bath, I was in a tea shop – happy?
It’d been a while since my last trip, so I’d actually forgotten what an ace venue Moles really is; with various rooms and floors, good sound, and a very intimate stage indeed.
After the tour’s lighting technician had spent a good fifteen minutes trying to take the stage lights out of ‘disco’, Mystery Jets take to the stage, emerging from that weird hobbit door at the back.
Rather than a bang, they creep in with the new single ‘Someone Purer’, and still the crowd (granted not the most demanding demographic) are instantly silent, as the quite unmistakable Blaine Harrison reels us all in.
It all starts to kick in, and the four-part vocals start working overtime for the inevitable choral tangents that once propelled the band to an indie forefront of sorts.
As they continue I notice more and more their particular band attire, with ‘cowboy’ hats, Texan shirts, and those funny toggle things I believe are called ‘bolo ties’ – It looks like their time recording the new album in Westlake, Austin has certainly rubbed off, and they weren’t shy about it.
A string of lap-steel-infused Americana numbers ensue, with plenty of their more well-know tracks appropriating new Crazy Horse come Springsteen licks, allowing William Rees to show off some pretty impressive Wilko Johnson-esque rhythm’n’lead guitar work. The latter appropriations didn’t really bother me, and in fact it all began to make cohesive sense in a way I’d not heard from them before, complimenting what in their less indie-disco moments are pretty heartfelt bits of traditional songwriting.
But that’s the thing, they are. Mystery Jets are far-and-away the only woah-ooh-woah-oh’ band I enjoy. Twix any anthemic claptrap (doo-doo-doo-dup!) lie real lyrics, and a true depth.
Not skimping on big’uns like ‘Two Doors Down’ and ‘Young Love’, they dish out a strong set, encoring near-perfectly with ‘Behind The Bunhouse’, although I was left pining for the hidden track. And what a nice band they are. How nice? Nice enough that when a group of extremely trying students repeatedly shout for ‘Hand Me Down’ they not only acknowledged it, but are very apologetic that they weren’t able to play it.
More patience than I right there.
On that note, I bid you good day.