Tag Archives: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Magners Summer Nights Electric Honey Sessions

Electric Honey is an institution of the Glasgow music scene; founded in 1992 at Glasgow’s Kelvin College it helped launch the careers of bands like Belle and Sebastian and Biffy Clyro.

Today’s event was organised by the current Music Business students who are continuing under the Electric Honey name.

Today’s lineup reads like a Buzzfeed list of exciting Scottish acts right now; acoustic sets from Finn LeMarinel and Mayor Stubbs, the country/big band feel of Woodenbox and the pop tinged Young Aviators all set the scene perfectly for tonight’s headliners, Fatherson and We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Not to forget the fantastic Harry and the Hendersons, who end up playing 10 minutes longer than planned, which was more than ok with the audience.

Finn LeMarinel is a surprising highlight, his delicate songwriting could easily have been lost in such an open space, however his emotive vocals and sombre tone set a perfect benchmark for the later bands to match.

Woodenbox take to the stage just as the weather starts to take a turn for the worse and do a great job of keeping the sizeable audience entertained.

Set highlight ‘Hang The Noose’ sees their brass section lead the masses in an impromptu dance to left everyone’s spirits.

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Fatherson have taken the UK by storm since the release of their debut full length I am an Island, and the band is in a jubilant mood having recently signed to Easy Life Records/Sony and about to begin work on their second album.

Without a doubt a lot of the crowd tonight are here to see them play a hometown show – and no one is left disappointed.

Ross Leighton’s vocals sound great, while oldie ‘James’ and single ‘Mine For Me’ are noticeably good.

Anyone involved in the music scene in Glasgow can tell you how hard Fatherson have worked to get to where they are now, they truly deserve the favourable position they are in.

It might be mid festival season, but the band show no signs of fatigue as they play one banger after another to a rapturous reception.

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By the end of their set it almost feels like the end of the evening, that we had already seen the headline act, but thankfully We Were Promised Jetpacks are still to come.

Jetpacks have been on the cusp on greatness for years and they are starting to live up to the hype and then some.

Strangely, they have found immediate success in the US and often tour there just as much as the UK.

Their new material seems to sit perfectly next to fan favourites, like ‘Quiet Little Voices’, as Jetpacks demonstrate a great knack of developing a sombre tone with memorable melodies that has seen them become a favourite for many in Glasgow.

All in all a fantastic night and a great showcase of musical talent; here’s to many more years of great Scottish music being played in the great Scottish outdoors.

More Photos

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Words: Andy McGonigle
Photos: Derek Robertson

West End Festival All Dayer at Oran Mor, 21/6/15

After worrying about whether or not I would be able to see the majority of the great bands playing across Oran Mor’s three stages, I was extremely pleased to see that the running order would allow me to move almost effortlessly between stages, hardly missing a second of each set.

My early arrival gives me plenty of time to soak up the breath-taking interior of the venue’s main auditorium before finding a decent spot in the already packed out room to watch the incredible Kathryn Joseph.

I am lucky enough to have seen Joseph perform two amazing sets at this year’s Wide Days and Xpo North and therefore already know I am in for a treat.

The crowd eagerly await the arrival of this year’s Scottish Album of the Year award winner, who captivates everyone in the room from the moment she steps on stage.

Joseph’s stage presence and musical style fits the venue perfectly, creating a truly enchanting performance.

Hanging on upstairs the hotly anticipated return of De Rosa is next, and after six years absence the return of Martin Henry and co. is one that’s more than welcome and a massive coup for Oran Mor to pull off, on a Father’s Day that sees a heavy amount of dads along for what we have to say is a very ‘dad friendly’ line up.

Still, while the audience makes me feel young I am still old enough to remember De Rosa first time round (unlike my fellow reviewer), their two, Chemy released, albums Mend and Prevention are among the highest regarded by the label and rightfully so as their highly intelligent brand of genre bending indie rock is still as fresh sounding as ever near a decade on.

Today they may be on early on in the day, but the hefty crowd lap up material from their two albums to date and while the band start to hit their, seemingly more refined than ever, stride it becomes clear that we may well be in for a treat with album number three, which is promised later this year.

It is then time to move downstairs to catch Man Of Moon; having heard so much about this band over the last few months I was eager to see them live.

The basement venue is packed and makes me question whether such a new band has ever played to a crowd of this size before, however the size of the crowd doesn’t seem to effect them as they showcase their unique sound and tight live set, making it clear they’re one to watch over the next couple of months.

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Back upstairs there’s a sense of a spark in the air, this is the moment the a lot of today’s crowd are here for; just this moment – the last Remember Remember show, and the mix of joy, filled with loss is quickly turned on its head by the band’s shimmering performance.

Graeme Ronald has been a hive of activity in Glasgow’s music scene for years, flitting between bands honing his trade, but RR always seems to be the culmination of that; their expansive arrangements don’t have you shoegazing like so many instrumental Glasgow bands would, instead they have you looking to the skies, or in this case the beautiful Alasdair Gray mural, as they twinkle and spark with unletting joy.

There’s a knowing smile on the band’s faces too, Ronald is entering a different chapter of his life; recently married, child on the way and a move to America imminent, so perhaps this is the best time to call it a day.

Whether it’s failing to bust a glitter gun of flinging cardboard boxes that spell out the band’s name into the audience, they seem at a real ease and as the crowd collect the boxes and spell out the name back to them it’s just a sheer delight to be here; Remember Remeember it’s been a please to have you.

Moving downstairs again we move ever so slightly away from the dad heavy set, although it can’t be argued that the charms of Tuff Love don’t extend over multiple age brackets.

I’ve made it consistently well known that I think these guys are great, their warm, fussy 90s vibing indie pop is a joy to behold both live and on record; the sweet harmonies and cheerful bounce of their tunes never fails to drag a smile onto your face.

Today is maybe lost a bit in downstairs chatter, but as Suse attempts to construct the most pathetic wall of death ever seen, it appears they’re taking everything in good heart; these guys’ trajectory is only elevating, we can only wait in anticipation of what they do next, I’m sure it’ll be a joy.

After both of us sadly failing to catch Hubby, next up is Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd, who make sure everyone in the room is having fun from the off.

They treat the crowd to a number of both old and new tracks including the upbeat ‘Chase Yirself’ and slower new single ‘Monsoon Season’ before ending with crowd pleaser ‘Son, I Voted Yes’.

The band are keen to get everyone moving, cheering and singing along and the crowd are more than happy to oblige making Stanley Odd’s set extremely entertaining to watch; made only better by Solareye’s fantastically chirpy stage presence and Veronika Electonika’s stunning vocals.

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I head back upstairs to catch We Were Promised Jetpacks’ ‘relaxed’ set, featuring a number of less often played live tracks including a number of b-sides.

Even though it is nice to see another side to Jetpacks, tonight doesn’t seem to quite work when compared to their normally riotous live set; they seem to be lacking the energy they usually possess and are a sobering come down after Stanley Odd’s adrenaline filled sing-along.

By this point in the day things seem to be lingering, a huge crowd is gathered downstairs for Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat, but finding a comfortable spot to watch Moffat’s legendary tales becomes difficult and the beauty of Wells’ arrangements become somewhat lost at the back of the room.

Upstairs it’s a similar scenario for The Phantom Band, the band who are generally a formidable and inspiring live experience seem to be grasping at nothing when trying to draw a reaction from a beer weary Sunday evening crowd, and despite Rick Anthony’s best efforts their set fades somewhat in comparison to those earlier performances.

All in all though another successful West End Festival All Dayer from Oran Mor cementing itself as one of the centrepieces of the whole festival.

More Photos

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Words: Jess Lavin/Iain Dawson
Photos: Euan Robertson/Stewart Fullerton

We Were Promised Jetpacks, Fatherson at QMU, 13/12/14

There is an omnipresent feeling of excitement clamouring around the Queens Margaret Union tonight, where once lay a hot dog stand in the foyer currently features We Were Promised Jetpacks fans chatting about the rise and rise of the hometown heroes who in just a few hours will blow the roof right off of the student hub with an intrinsically tight performance.

Arguably 2014 was just as delightful on the ear for main support act Fatherson, it was the year they finally released their much spoken about debut album and boy was I Am An Island worth the wait, delivering plenty spliced hooks of unadulterated indie pop splendour.

Frontman Ross Leighton leads the first sing-along with a punching illicit rendition of ‘An Island’, a song clustered with a softly spoken syllabic narration, eventually juxtaposition overwhelms as the song bursts into full life with the rest of the band joining Leighton onstage with curating gang vocals deep in saccharine and harmony.

Restrained to just under half-an-hour tonight, the Ayrshire bred quartet smash through the album big hitters with little relent – ‘I Like Not Knowing’, ‘Cat Stevens’ and closer ‘James’ coming out resiliently sweeter than usual.

By the time We Were Promised Jetpacks open with bittersweet anthem ‘Safety In Numbers’, from this years Unravelling, Glasgow has found its singing voice, with three full lengths now in the bag, the boys have plenty in the trenches these days to provide a fantastic set which pleases both old and new fans alike.

It is perhaps little surprise that the contemporary hometown classic ‘Quiet Little Voices’ sends the sold out crowd into raptures, but it is the material found on latest offering Unravelling that adds a diversified and slightly more sonically sphering direction to the bands live sound – ‘Night Terror’ for example clambers beautifully over trickling guitar before dancing excruciatingly into a sauntering vocal hook.

Vocalist Adam Thompson has found his ideal depth on the newer jams, with a newly located swagger injecting the likes of ‘I Keep It Composed’ with a cordially endeavoured snarl that in turn causes the band to bash their instruments harder than they have ever done before – it’s quite the scene, as Glasgow reacts favourably with some Saturday night dance moves.

For both these bands it marks the end of a rapturous 2014, most pleasing is that We Were Promised Jetpacks and Fatherson are currently two of the peripheral acts flying the flag of new Scottish music, if tonight is anything to go by we are in safe hands.

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Words: Chris Kelman

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling [FatCat]

I’ll preface this review with a disclaimer that for one reason or another I have never listened to We Were Promised Jetpacks, friends locally and especially overseas seem to be singing their praises, yet they’ve always passed me by, so, Unravelling, the band’s third album, is my first taste of WWPJ.

Album opener ‘Safety in Numbers’ doesn’t really grab you straight away, like a lot of tracks on the album, it has a few ‘big’ moments but in general feels underwhelming, similarly ‘Peaks and Troughs’ doesn’t really strike a chord, nothing too different here.

Then we get to ‘I Keep It Composed’, possibly the best track on the album, a well-structured, passionate song that bursts into a raucous indie-rock banger.

‘Night Terror’ is also another highlight, with vocalist Adam Thompson showing a real depth with both his vocal talents and lyrically, while ‘Disconnecting’ is a long and haunting track and ‘Ricochet’ is a great closer.

In general, Unravelling is a cohesive album, with some really great moments, the problem is that those are not regular or frequent enough for this to feel memorable or important.

While WWPJ are ahead of some of their contemporaries within the Scottish music scene, there are bands out there doing the same thing better, still, Unravelling is worth a listen and when it’s good, it’s really good.

Words: Nick Ramsey

We Were Promised Jetpacks at Oran Mor, 27/6/14

Following the release of the band’s live album E Rey (Live In Philadelphia) earlier this year, which provided tangible proof of the band’s current calibre in a live setting, it was time to sample the goods for real in Glasgow.

After two headline shows in the ABC (the latter as part of Stag & Dagger), the quintet are nestled into the decidedly smaller Oran Mor for this outing, and as is often the case, the “awesome band, tight venue” combination comes up trumps.

Playing a set heavy in new material, from the band’s upcoming but currently untitled third studio album, the follow-up to 2011’s In The Pit Of The Stomach, the crowd listen in quiet awe as the fresh melodies wash over them; without sounding too clichéd, it seems that LP3 will be more melodic, harmonious, and certainly more sassy – as per the vibes given of in a live airing at least.

The only new track of the bunch to be explicitly named, ‘Bright Minds’, is an uncommon affair for a We Were Promised Jetpacks track with elements of electronics and bare vocals conjuring up a vibe not a million miles from a hip-hop single – it’s definitely a certified belter of a track though.

While frontman and guitarist Adam Thompson is quick to label the band’s next album as “make or break”, citing age as an issue, the abundance of new material has an abundance of quality, so it seems unlike they need fret.

Referring to more familiar territory, the band also play favourites such as ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ and ‘Sore Thumb’, with the expansive and majestic ‘Keeping Warm’ also receiving a worthy inclusion – any minor fan of the band will know however, that closer ‘It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning’ undoubtedly receives the warmest reaction.

Sparking the loudest, if not only, sing-along of the night, its perfect composition makes it clear why it was a single, and why crowds love it so – and when Thompson holds that “YOUR BODY WAS BLAAAAAAAAAAA-AAAACK!” note, it’s just fantastic.

While opening with an unknown song may be considered bold, utilising your encore to jam out what appears to be an improvised cacophony of instrumental brilliance, is bloody courageous.

Clearly expecting some big hitting single to close off an enjoyable night, the crowd are instead treated to a wordless passage that seems to strike all the correct notes of euphoria, by all respects a fitting end to the evening.

While it has no doubt been said before, We Were Promised Jetpacks have established themselves as not only adept music-writers, but a formidable live force, and this show indicated nothing different; roll up those sleeves in preparation for album three.

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Words: Kyle McCormick