Ever been to a party at your local community centre? To see your mates band at the pub? You walk in and everyone is awkwardly standing at the edges of the room, drinks in hand. You can almost taste the tension. This is how I felt as I entered The Garage, just after 7pm, to no more than 50 people. I came very close to turning straight back around. However, after weeks of waiting for this moment, of watching JAWS live and learning the Milkshake EP word for word, I felt I owed it to them (and myself) to stick around. I needed to know if they could pull this off.
I always feel a sense of pity for the first support band, walking on stage to see a crowd of mindless faces. As Jungle Doctors came on stage, the sound of applause was a figment of my imagination and was not helped by the fact the crowd had begun gathering at least 10 metres away from the stage. They played an 8 song set and had a wonderful sound, however only at the end of their performance managed to get the crowd to move closer. A valiant effort on their behalf.
Tigercub came next. By this point the crowd were slightly intoxicated, enough to sway but not quite enough to let loose. Tigercub played a trippy and grungy set (the best possible combination in my opinion) My favourite song was ‘Little Rope’ which got the crowd pumped and ready for JAWS, which essentially, is the aim of the support band. Tigercub ticked all the boxes.
By the end of their set, the room had filled up and I had fallen in love with the intimacy of the venue, most importantly, no more community centre vibes! After a 15 minute interval, JAWS appeared on stage. The room full of drunken teenagers erupted and it wasn’t your usual mosh, the whole room got involved and I have the bruises to prove it (thanks to there being no barriers). Two lads took particular advantage of this and became a part of the band for the night, spending more time on stage than in the crowd. JAWS played new single ‘Think too much Feel too little’ as well as another new song and songs from both previous EP’s. The highlight of the night was ‘Gold’ which is a song that I would happily listen to on repeat forever and sounded even better live. There’s something about the B-town boys that makes them incredible performers, they play real feel good music that sends the crowd wild. I can see them headlining somewhere like Shepherds Bush Empire in the next year and they definitely have promising futures in music. This was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a long time and I’d like to apologize for prematurely judging the venue, as it’s actually a very cool place.