By Jordan Beardall (words) and Chris Martin (photographs)
October 01, 2013
Jaws have been on a steady rise as of late. The reception to their début EP Milkshake, slots at Reading and Leeds, Beacons, Bestival and their subsequent headlining tour of the UK is an accumulative testament to a strong work ethic that belies their breezy, surfer-pop musicianship. Even a sore throat to front-man Connor Schofield, which ruled them out of last night’s show in Glasgow, poses little threat to what will be an ultimately solid performance.
Limited to a despairingly short half an hour set, the Birmingham quartet waste little time with introductions and instead plough straight in to the whimsy of EP highlight ‘Stay In’. Whilst every word is eagerly reciprocated by a shrill of approval from a crowd predominantly made up of female fans, it’s immediately obvious that Jaws lack the stage presence required to make a memorable mark on such an intimate venue. Their awkward, shuffling demeanour is constantly at odds with the vigour emanating from an otherwise tight musical arrangement. It’s a criticism that has been levelled at the B-Town unit on a consistent basis and, whilst crowd favourite ‘Toucan Surf’ does little to improve this, the monolithic hooks of ‘Breeze’ instantly unleashes an unexpected wave of euphoria that washes over the band as if this was their intended plan all along. Beside their new found appreciation for movement, Jaws have also revived the long forgotten aura of summer to combat the bitter cold of Manchester. Central to this success is the introduction of their anthemic, beach party hit ‘Gold’. Instantly infectious with a plethora of beautifully imaginative lyrics, (‘Take me/Take me to where the gold drips from the sun to my back…’) it’s a well needed change of pace which has every head bobbing in unison.
Not particularly vocal at the best of times, Schofield is even quieter tonight. So it’s a delightful surprise when the front-man begins the Euro-synth bonanza ‘Surround You’, by serenading the crowd with nought but an ailing voice and his guitar. It’s moments like these where Jaws are truly captivating. They have the ability and the fan base, all they need now is to translate their passion for the beach in to a tangible presence on stage. God knows we need more sunshine in the UK.
Milkshake is available from iTunes (here).