Monday, 14 April 2008

LIVE: Mystery Jets

Venue: Manchester Night & Day
Date: 13th April 2008

A second album is always hard to get right. Especially when the first is so good. Mystery Jets, then, have achieved something great; not only is their second album so different from the first with its 80s inspired beats and broodier sound but it also translates amazingly well live. Starting their tour in one of Manchesters smallest venues the dark electro noises and wailing sirens that began the set were made even more eerie as the band entered the stage to rapturous applause. Launching into "Hideaway" with its skittering refrains and synth-ridden chorus ("Hideaway/ Hideaway/ Hideaway-oh-way-oh") the crowd began dancing. Songs like "Flakes" were pitch perfect with harmonies to melt the heart. There is a feeling behind the lyrics and music which connects both the audience and the band and songs like "Veiled in Grey" and "Half In Love With Elizabeth" show a penchant for slightly oblique lyrics ("I can see a pink elephant and it's standing at the corner of the bed") and a menagerie of musical instruments. "Young Love" had the crowd swaying in time whilst mouthing along to the words and new singly "Girl Next Door" perfectly epitomises their new sound. Whats lovely about the Mystery Jets is not only do they care about what they do but they do it well! And take away any part of the songs (drums, guitars or cowbells) and the songs would loose something showing that "less is more" isn't always correct.
The only downfall to showcasing a new album is not all the audience will be familiar with it. Slightly disappointingly they only played "Diamonds in the Dark", "Zoo Time" and "Boy Who Ran Away" from the "Making Dens" album; but the band did seem somewhat surprised at coming back on for an encore! It's a good job their new stuff is almost better than before and its clear to see them evolving as a band. And you know a mark of a good band is when you feel the band should have done more songs, plus b-sides and demos and acoustic solos and instrumentals and gone on forever.

Hideaway- Mystery Jets
Veiled in Grey - Mystery Jets
Girl Next Door- Mystery Jets
Lizzies Lion - Mystery Jets

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