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We Were Promised Jetpacks live at The Cluny, Newcastle
This gig has been put on by Middlesbrough promoters The Kids Are Solid Gold who have a habit of booking great bands for one-off gigs, usually bringing multiple acts together for mouth watering one off line-ups. You could almost call them the ATP of the North, just without the financial irregularities. Tonight we've got promising locals Kobadelta, euphoric Scots Fatherson and three album veterans We We Promised Jetpacks on a bill at Newcastle's ever reliable Cluny.
Openers Kobadelta are local boys and one of the many North East acts who seem to be teetering on the verge of producing something really exceptional (their latest EP is testament to that). Their singer Dom Noble is an eccentric stage presence, tonight showing off some awkward mannerisms and stunted dance moves in front of a powerful and confident band. A rendition of "Heretic" is probably the perfect encapsulation of their dirty, dusty, drawling sound. The bass and drum driven finale is quite a sound to behold, taking their already promising recorded output to a whole new stratosphere.
Fatherson are quite a different kettle of fish altogether, this is a band who you can well imagine going on to be Radio 2 darlings. Their music flits between perfectly amicable math pop and chart-ready anthemic rock. So much so that at the end of one song they actually become Coldplay, it's an amazing spectacle. Whilst they haven't quite got that dark edge that many of their peers (The Twilight Sad etc) posses, they've got an undoubted knack of writing catchy tunes which will appeal to far more than they will deter. They nearly didn't make it here tonight as told in one stage anecdote, this would have been a shame because for most of the audience here tonight, the band went down a storm.
One other thing to note about these opening acts is that both had an amazing clarity to their sound, even when letting rip you could hear every instrument in perfect isolation. So kudos to the bands and kudos to the sound engineer. We Were Promised Jetpacks on the other hand, are loud, thunderously loud infact and the room turns into a swirling wall of sound and energy. The band open with "Safety In Numbers", and hardly stop for breath in a pulsating hour which borrows liberally from their excellent latest album Unravelling but also takes in highlights from throughout their career. Things are slowed down slightly for "Disconnecting" but there's hardly time for a breather and they power through "Moral Compass", "A Part Of It" and the wonderful "I Keep It Composed". As the final few numbers draw the set to a close there are even scattered microcosms of moshpits forming from the young audience in attendance. Not something I see so much of these days at The Cluny. Do the kids even do proper unified moshpits anymore? I don't really know...Anyway, things get a bit lively for "This Is My House, This Is My Home" and "Sore Thumb" which is a standout track in that it sounds totally out of place in their set, like a relic from a bygone age, albeit a welcome one. It perhaps proves that WWPJ have actually moved quite far musically since those heady days of 2011, they've just done it subtly. If this performance is anything to go by, the newer material more than stands up against the classics which makes you wonder just what the band are capable of in the future.