In a previous article parallels were drawn between Birmingham band Jaws and North London set-up Yuck. We’d like to swiftly retract that comparison for fear of tarnishing Yuck’s name.
Cavernous venue and ‘super club’ Heaven, a couple of turns off London’s Charing Cross Road, offered more than enough space for Jaws’ mainly pubescent audience at this 14+ gig. The foursome were dwarfed by the 1850 capacity space which has played host to some musical giants as Pavor Stela, Eurythmics and Lady Gaga. The boys did not expand to fill the space with any amount of musical charisma which usually graces Heaven’s stage, and one can only assume more charm is offered during Heaven’s G-A-Y clubnights.
To say the band sounded different to their record would be an accurate statement – I can only assume an army of producers have worked long nights to polish this piece of coal into something marketable, and would like to offer my congratulations to the label and team for creating something that, in the recorded sound, is wholly palatable, and for assembling a band who are visually appealing and marketable. Live however, without that dream-pop reverb to hide behind , Connor Schofield’s vocals were tuneless and weak – bad karaoke comes to mind. However usually less than perfect vocal delivery is redeemable by emotive expression, vocal tone, charisma and total stage presence…sadly of these there were none.
Instrumental backings were, in contrast, en pointe to a degree of mathematical precision. Without the vocals, these were enjoyable, but there was never a slip up from these guys during a listless and static performance. I don’t like to cast aspersions as to the reason for their musical proficiency against such appalling vocals, and can only assume that these are stringently trained indie rock musicians, rehearsed to the point of military precision…
Other positives are the band look great in photos, the show was greatly enjoyed by the 14+ audience – it’s always a treat to be out for the first time without the parents and be able to scream and sit on each other’s shoulders without fear of reprisal – it’s always a great thing to see kids having fun. And there was beer on tap to deaden the ears.
Jaws’ recorded music offers an example of some impressive, heavy duty production magic. Listen to it, or maybe something better. Just don’t (unless aged 14-16) put yourself through the ordeal of experiencing them live.
by Sarah Rayner (Chickens are Dinosaurs)