Wednesday, 14 May 2008

LIVE: Mystery Jets, DURRR at The End, London. 24th March, 2008

Photo: +++ponyrock+++

The first time I heard Mystery Jets I was dancing in this very club, at Erol Alkan's legendary, now defunct, Trash. It's almost four years on and the band's songs are once again dominating the room. This time they are here in person for the christening of new album 'Twenty One.'

'Twenty One' has been hailed as their coming of age album, a conclusion probably based largely on the title, but in reality the set tonight, consisting of entirely new album tracks, has a innocent charm that was missing from 'Making Dens.' They appear to be taking their first steps outside their self created world to explore its borders. The themes of first love, ideal romances and affection from afar have their roots set in youth and it's clear from this alone that the band are now minus the words of Henry Harrison, although his return to the stage tonight is a welcome, and somewhat comforting addition. Musically the band have taken a more direct route through the songs and the unfulfilled promises of 'Making Dens' warped pyscholelia feel further away and as unlikely than ever.

What we do hear tonight is a collection of ridiculously catchy pop songs that many bands would kill for. There are still hints of the past with the 70s tinged 'Two Doors Down' being a stand out; after one verse the crowd are chanting, singing or woah-woah-woahing along. There was some grumbling about the lack of 'Zootime,' but this was 'Twenty One's' party and given the volume of people that squeezed, pressed and pushed their way to the front, all the while getting hotter and stickier, but still stuck it out, hanging on to every note without taking their eyes of the stage, I'd say 'Twenty One' has a happy life ahead of it.

Claire Evans

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