This was my first time at Portsmouth Guildhall, and my first impressions
were "woah, what a classy building." I'd been to the Guildhall
in Southampton and knew what to expect, but this just looked a bit more
sexual, you know? However, we were led in through a small side-door, not
As we entered, the first band were already playing their last song. These
were "The Checks." They must have been keen, doors only opened
half an hour ago. I had just enough time to suss out that they were okay,
and that the drummer looked about twelve, and then they left. The room
wasn't very big, nor was it busy, so we easily wandered through and took
position at the front.
The next band on were a Danish four-piece called "The Blue Van."
Despite their uninspiring name, their music was actually awesome. And
if I didn't have to watch the bassist prance around gaily, everything
would have been nearing perfect. A real mix of characters, with as keyboardist
who looked like every member of The Kings Of Leon mixed with Jesus, a
guitarist/vocalist who must have been an extra in Pirates of the Caribbean,
a nondescript drummer (they have a habit of doing that, don't they,) and
the gay bassist who looked annoyingly like one of my idols, Dom Howard,
the drummer of Muse. With a sound that was a mixture of Jet, Kings Of
Leon and Wolfmother; and an apparent love of dragging songs and outros
out for as long as possible, this Scandinavian quartet knew how to rock.
After listening to their studio recordings, I wasn't getting the same
gist, but live, that was something special.
Given the crowd's gentile nature during The Blue Van, yet vigorous applause,
and given the nature of some of Jet's music, I wasn't expecting a violent
audience for this gig. I was however wrong, and for the beginning half
of Jet's set, I had retards climbing all over my back, and a group of
apes in front of me, who may have been on acid, and enjoyed chanting "oo
oo oo!" after every song played.
Opening with "Last Chance," I was taken by surprise to find
it was the drummer singing the verses. Completely unexpected, I just presumed
it would be the guy at the front, who looked like a front-man, so be singing.
He joined in for the chorus, and as it turned out, led a majority of the
Showcasing a range of songs from both the Jet albums, the group put on
a good show, and the sound was actually pretty good. Both of the vocalists
has fantastic voices, and it's clear that when they got in the studio,
there was no need to cover up any glitches. These were talented guys.
A predictable highlight of the show, was "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?"
As soon as the tambourine started, everyone cheered.
"You know what this means right?"
The crowd goes nuts, as if it was scripted.
"This means we're gonna tear the fucking roof off."
And the song begins. And at the end of every chorus, a gargantuan wait
amid screaming galore, before finally the call of "I said are you
gonna be my girl?"
Another highlight, was an acoustic track off of the first album called
"Move On." For which the drummer came down from his podium,
took the microphone into his hand and sung out to the crowd. That's a
fucking beautiful song you've got there, lads. Even the harmonica solo
was note perfect. And that baffled me, it must be one of the hardest instruments
to play accurately, in the history of time; mental.
Whereas the majority of the set was full of high-octane songs like "Get
Me Outta Here," "Get What You Need," "Rollover DJ,"
"Holiday," and "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is,"
(with a softer interlude of "Look What You've Done, which I particularly
enjoyed,) the end of the set, and encore, consisted of my gentle songs
like "Shine On," "Bring It On Back," and "Skin
And Bones," (with again, the contrasting track, this time round it
was "Cold Hard Bitch.")
I think if the Beatles were Australian and still around, they'd be in
a band called Jet, but maybe that's just me. I'm not even a fan of the
Beatles, so that's what confuses me as I love Jet. How strange.
Anyway; good stuff. See them if you can.
Review By Thom