We Were Promised Jetpacks, it could be said, have had some fairly lucky breaks recently. Signed to the brilliant FatCat label, they’re currently bumping along nicely on the coat tails of The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, supporting both of them in a rather stellar US tour.
But this headline tour sees them back down to earth with a thud, playing teeny tiny sweatboxes to only a handful of people, three of whom are actually interested. And tonight’s venue is a particularly sweaty sweatbox (they weren’t joking with a name like Boileroom). Granted tonights crowd is probably larger than an average night here, and the band seemed genuinely chuffed with the turnout. No delusions of grandeur there.
Tonights show really needed to pack a punch– a show for 20 year olds by 20 year olds. And whilst the show certainly ticked those boxes, unfortunately it took a bloody long time to get there. The opening track didn’t kick off until a good couple of minutes of ‘atmospheric noise’ had been dispensed and eventually a decent guitar line appeared from the fuzz – hardly an energetic start to proceedings. And that seemed to be the order of the night – meandering, lack-luster intros and wandering middle eights that disrupted the momentum of what should have been a blistering set. ‘Quiet Little Voices’ and ‘It’s Thunder and It’s Lightening’ were definite high points – thundering drums, shouty sing-alongs and ripping along a breakneck speed. But more intense tracks like ‘Conducter’ fail to launch, with Adam Thompson delivering the vocals like a shopping list being shouted down a flight of stairs.
So WWPJ finish their set looking very much like a one trick pony. Albeit a damn good trick, but just the one nonetheless. Perhaps a little more research was required for this tour – they’re no longer playing to cavernous 1000 capacity venues whilst everyone’s at the bar but pubs and music rooms where the audience expect a set that goes at full pelt.