JAWS, The Magic Gang & Tropic of Youth: Plug, Sheffield

Birmingham is absolutely brimming with new talent. Over the last couple of years we have seen bands such as Peace and Swim Deep rocket to commercial success. Now JAWS, the young four-piece indie-pop band have managed to bring themselves into the limelight. After a year’s absence from Sheffield, the band returned with additional support from local lads Tropic of Youth and Brighton’s The Magic Gang. It’s safe to say that this gig wasn’t exactly a sell out (I could easily have cartwheeled around the venue) but despite this, something told me that this young, energetic crowd were not going to be boring.

A couple of pints earlier (when inhibitions were still intact) crazy cool bananas Tropic of Youth warmed up the crowd with their “soft rock world beats” including ‘Hot Season’ and their latest single ‘Poa Kichizi Kama Ndizi’. Tropic of Youth have that soft, hazy and utterly absorbing ambiance which could be compared to Vampire Weekend. Tropic of Youth were followed by fresh new faces, The Magic Gang. This band have a distinctive sultry 90s grunge sound and have already been compared to the likes of Mac DeMarco. After having their bedroom demo ‘Brusies’ surface online a year ago these boys have already toured alongside Swim Deep and have landed various festival gigs this summer, including LeeFest.

After two promising performances from the support acts, JAWS took to the stage with their opening track ‘Time’, during which the youthful crowd commenced their first mosh pit of the night. After a boisterous start, the band segued into the low, fuzzy melody of ‘Donut’, a track that I can’t help but always confuse with Best Coast’s ‘Honey’. The succeeding track of the night ‘Toucan Surf’ immersed the audience with harmonious synth cords.

Half way through their set, lead singer Connor Schofield introduced their next song “for anyone with a cat”. The song, ‘Friend Like You’ gradually opened and developed with rhythmic layered guitar loops. After the bands performance of the slow paced track ‘BreeZe’ it was clear by their remarks that they had never witnessed a crowd mosh so hard (if at all) to this song. They obviously underestimated Sheffield’s moshing capabilities!

As the set advanced further into the evening the band played their latest single ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’, which was swiftly followed by the hooking guitar notes to ‘Stay In’. Finally, after stirring up the sounds of 90s nostalgia, the band wound up their energetic performance with the most anticipated song of the evening, ‘Gold’.

The resilient crowd (now including members of the support acts) were in a state of summery-surf pop hysteria. The crowd were utterly mental and the bands live performance was absolutely faultless. JAWS are yet another promising Birmingham based band and with their new album due to be released this summer they are certain to be on our summer playlists.

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