Live review... JAWS
It's been a few months since I last saw JAWS playing. It was in a warm, sunny field on a main stage and their indie pop created waves across a couple of thousand kids, worn out but having a fun time. Tonight the scene is a little different, there's no sun and the kids are the furthest from worn out. The lights are dim in a 200 capacity venue and drunk teenagers are swaying side to side before the band has even come on stage. Two piece fuzzy "slacker punk" Nai Harvest take to the stage first, proving that bass isn't needed to make a room shake. Powering through a setlist of tracks from their debut record Hairball, the band create the first pit of the night and continue with Spin and Buttercups only slowing down for Ocean of Madness. The band close their set with the record's title track and frontman Ben Thompson thrusts his guitar into the crowd before dropping to the floor. It's a solid support set from Nai Harvest's second time in Cambridge and it's no doubt that when they do return for a headline show it'll be a good one.
Brum legends JAWS start their set full of juicy pop-hooks and ambient vibes opening with What We Haven't Got Yet, a some-what grungier track from the band's forthcoming sophomore album. The setlist is strong, mixing old favourites like Toucan Surf with newer material such as Bad Company. A mosh pit is prominent for the entirety of JAWS' set giving the band a high for their Cambridge debut. If there is one thing to criticise it would be frontman Connor Schofiled's vocals. Wether it was simply an off night for him or the sound from the desk was a bit shit, I don't know, but I suspect the later judging by my previous experiences of JAWS which have all been solid. Maybe it was unfair to compare tonight's gig to their headline set at the DIY all-dayer over a year ago now, where they didn't take to the stage until half midnight and the crowd was full off indie dreamboat bands such as Hinds and Wolf Alice who had probably had a bit too much to drink. A highlight of the set for me is Think Too Much, Feel Too Little, a track that it's physically impossible not to tap your toes to. It's with no doubt though that they had the crowd wrapped around their finger as the closed their set with the anthemic singalong Gold. It's a perfect way to close the set.
Photo of Nai Harvest by the author.