Review by James Attwood with Photography by Robert Barrett

Having released four sonically diverse singles and ahead of their highly anticipated fourth album and return, JAWS announced a quartet of live dates around the UK. Calling at Glasgow, Manchester, London and finally their hometown of Birmingham, the shows were curiously large for the band and after following their meteoric rise as a completely unsigned band, I was intrigued to see how they matched up to these larger venues at their Birmingham date.

JAWS

First up was producer and DJ Casey Orange who warmed up the crowd perfectly with a 30 minute slot of Loyle Carner – Lounge style beats accompanied by a guest rapper. Having seen B Town icons Swim Deep at their first institute main room headline way back in 2013 accompanied by a trio of local indie bands, it was nice to see Jaws taking a more diverse approach.

London’s Honey Lung kicked up the pace several gears for a dose of high octane 90’s American grunge, with tunes that wouldn’t sound out of place at an American high school drink up. An obvious nod to Smashing Pumpkins, the band crash about the stage to the soundtrack of a wall of distorted guitars and driving drumbeats. It is clear the band have all the essence of youth and are set for great things and though it is a sound that I have heard before and reminds me of the deceased INHEAVEN, the band do it well.

JAWS

JAWS

With an early set time of 8:30 and a stage lit dimly by lamps (with shades that wouldn’t look too far out of place in your nan’s house), it is clear we’re in for a special night.

The band arrive onstage in customised JAWS boiler suits, with their familiar logo hung high above the stage. Opening with new album track Looking/Passing, the band start as they mean to go on, performing a set that consists of mainly new material and most importantly receives as rapturous a response as it’s predecessing. The moody right in front of me follows and sees the band on fine form.

JAWS

JAWS

The only hints of EP and first album Jaws are Think too much, feel too little and Stay In which gets the crowd on shoulders and singing along, before inevitable encore track Gold, which sees the floor erupt in a good old indie mosh.

The production of the tour is the biggest yet for the band, and it suits them very well as there is an air of maturity about the band now, who have left their roots in the viewed as cringeworthy by many ‘B-Town’ scene far behind as they tour the UK. In their music, their look and their stage show. It’s easy to forget that the band are completely unsigned, and looking around the venue, it’s clear that the band are in a class of their own now. I can’t think of a single unsigned band on this scale.

JAWS

JAWS

Frontman Connor thanks and politely addresses his crowd regularly throughout the evening, with not an F bomb in sight. The band are grateful for their loyal fanbase, who wholeheartedly sing back every song of the set. Please be kind, Feel and Fear are the biggest sing alongs of the evening, and considering their album has been out such a short span of time, their fanbase have done a pretty good job of learning the words.

Jaws proved themselves and more this evening, and I really hope that this tour is not the last we see of the band on this album cycle, having previously re-appeared then disappeared once again respectively. It can only be bigger and better for the band from here on out.

Listen to new album ‘The Ceiling’ now.

JAWSJAWS

JAWS

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