JAWS + Marsicans @ 02 Institute, 2nd December, 2017


Our team went to see JAWS hometown gig with Marsicans supporting.

The first time I heard Marsicans I was sitting in the back tent at the festival Barn on the Farm. After long days a rest was needed, but I was propelled out of my comfortable seat to listen to this funky high-energy force that I later found out was Leeds band Marsicans.  Self describes as ‘upbeat indie meets dirty pop’ Marsicans mixes melodic layers of vocals with electronic pop punk crafting music that is as bright as their outfits. Currently on tour opening for Birmingham band JAWS we caught Marsicans explosion of energy of sound.

Bathed in pink and green lights the four-piece band opened with pop rock dance tune “Arms of Another.” Shifting percussion elements clashed with a flurry of electronic synth sounds, creating this bombastic pop punk sound that had both a nostalgic and futuristic sound. As the band slid through each note mouths dropped, the audience was immediately enwrapped around what was being produced from the stage. Over the next few songs, including hit “Friends” and “Too Good,” Marsicans intertwined teen pop anthems with indie almost acoustic stripped down pieces. The range was unbelievable, bringing the audience on an emotional trip that was thoughtful and entertaining.

“Wake Up Freya” a slow romantic track, warmed the crowd with its sonic brilliance and warm golden lighting. The intoxicating song was lulling, like a nourishing hug for our cold dead hearts. With “Far Away” and “Swimming” the lads picked up the tempo, once again leaning into a pop rock sound that brought about a dance explosion. “Absence” rounded out the set; the melodic rock song is the perfect closer as it shows off both this serious musical talent with a light feel displaying the lads ability to create genuinely progressive music that is still crowd pleasing.

Marsicans is a band with a bright future ahead of them. Understanding their demographic, the band creates youthful yet mature sounds that push genre confines and sonic boundaries. Back in the new year with a show at The Sunflower Lounge, Marscians should be on your list of bands to catch in 2018.

JAWS makes me believe in music again. In an era that can produce contrived fixed sound that is neither interesting nor experimental, JAWS marinades in creative juices, flowing to create prophetic and powerful tunes that are light and airy due to their alternative electro pop backings. Capping their November UK tour in their hometown of Birmingham, JAWS delivered a spirit filled set to their sold out home crowd.

Trance pop “Surround You” kicked off the night. Covered in a swirling vortex of white lights JAWS paced onto the stage, everyone rose to the shoulders of their mates, bathed in the glory of what was to transpire. The punchy pop tune morphed into a psychedelic pop rock tune, cradled by the angelic vocals of JAWS, an immediate transcendence to kick the night off. Gritty rock “Cast” and easy “Think Too Much, Feel Too Little” brought the crowd to life. Singing each word and diving head first into the experience that is a JAWS show, it is clear that the crowd is deeply connected with their rock idols. Each guitar riff, each note was met with praise and adoration.

“Work it Out” brought an indie edge to the set. As security rushed fans from the stage, the driving base led to a synchronization of head bobs and hand raising. 70s tinged “Filth” and anthematic “Stay In” brought a climactic swell of energy with rock backboned “What We Haven’t Got Yet” peaking the frenzy. Tempered “17” lowered the rapid heart rates; its ambient nature yielded this euphoric escapism that aligned nicely with the transcendent mood of the night. This lull and breath did not last long in the set, pure rock “Just A Boy” was followed by moody “The Invisble Sleep.” Shaking the room “Be Slowly” was a bombastic onslaught of sound and movement that created earthquake motions.

The encore brought about pop indie rock “Donut.” As the boys walked back on they were accompanied by beach balls. Like a high energy festival the toys brought this celebration and glee to an otherwise lively set. Perhaps a cheeky display of the jovial nature of JAWS the start to the encore was candy-coated sweetness of youth mixed in with a hard rock edge. “Toucan Surf,” a bright electronic pop song was followed by dynamic “Right in Front of Me.” To the sadness of fans “Gold” ended and we were left to wander back into the dark and cold.

JAWS sold out set at the O2 Institute was a mixture of ferocity and intangible glee, an awe inspiring display of talent. JAWS ability to so deeply understand fans lives and perceptions mixed with their genuine inventiveness of sound, amalgamate to become this daring and driving creation that brings life and exploration through music. Their live shows pick up on this purity of power, filling an otherwise poignant music landscape into a wonderland of self exploration.

JAWS are creating music that is not only enjoyable but more importantly they are creating music that is important. It is for this reason that JAWS make me believe in the power of music, they make me believe in music again. JAWS closed their UK tour with a powerful onslaught of sights and sounds, continuing to propel the band into galactic stardom.


Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

Photographer: Ian Dunn

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