Live at Dingwalls, London
Convention and preconception could only ever be the product of the human mind, dour, dull and rational as they are. Logic too requires order to function, so when We Were Promised Jetpacks open to slow and steady builder 'Keeping warm', the song who's eventual crescendo effectively brings debut album These Four Walls to a close (save for 'An almighty thud') you'd be forgiven for being surprised. It goes against what you'd expect, it's a died-in-the-wool closer of a song, reflective and epic, but bless 'em, it’s the perfect way to start, writhing and pounding its way up to that optimum level from which most everything hereafter will be delivered - so why not start with it? One criticism back in the band's past, is that they have one setting and its fast and it's loud - not a criticism anyone who loves them is likely to allow much credence, just as unlikely in fact, as hearing anyone whisper anything to that effect as we file out after tonight - everything is loud, unashamedly and astonishingly loud, bathed in and bursting with decibels - nobody here wants it not to be, so again why not? It seems logic might be in for a bit of a kicking as they then fly straight into 'Human error', standout track from 2nd LP In The Pit of the Stomach, and arguably the best thing they've so far written - a song that demands to be played at its maximum, a brash and brazen blast - it's a demand they're happily not shy to deliver on. Third comes 'Quite little voices', breakthrough single and, as emphatically confirmed by the glorious communal singalong it spawns, a clear fan favourite - and that's when logic, convention and preconception all simultaneously limp over and die - starting off this strongly, with these choices, it's a bit of a statement isn't it, bands don't do that, but not to worry 'cos everyone is stupidly, stupidly happy - neither do the band seem too worried about letting out all the good stuff early, so you can forget about all that nonsense about saving the ones you like most, and the ones you assume everyone else likes ('cos you like 'em) for the back end of the performance, forget about order and what to expect, and those tedious charges about lacking dynamics and subtlety and enjoy the moment of it all, because that's what we're all here for, for the bombardment, for the stratospheric sonics, and for that particular brand of euphoria that can only be delivered by guitars loud enough to drown out the heavy shelling of field artillery. It doesn't matter what order it arrives in, in fact you soon realise above all else that across their two releases they've quite a body of work to pick from - as relentless in quality as they are relentless in the beautify noise they make tonight - 'Ships with holes will sink' receives a fantastically raucous treatment to the extent that the audible buzz it generates in the audience extends all the way into 'Pear tree' and its un-amplified, hollered, "If you'd be my pear, I’ll be your tree", a buzzing quickly eviscerated by the mounting wall of everything that peaks at "if you'd be my timezone, then I’ll be your globe" and then explodes in a maelstrom of tumultuous pommelling rhythm and frenzied cacophonic guitar. All that's left is for 'It’s and thunder and it’s lightening' to go transcendental - like everything else tonight it doesn't disappoint. Stunning stuff.