We Were Promised JetpacksHarvest Sun @ Arts Club 25/10/19
10 years is a long time, but WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS are still out there weathering the storm. It’s been a decade since the emotional and angry Scots dropped their debut album These Four Walls. While the record remains very much of its time, it still sounds as fresh and invigorating as ever. This might seem like a slightly weird contradiction, but it’s certainly possible. Albums can definitely capture a moment in music, but remain fresh in terms of execution, production and still stir up all the right feelings.
Tonight marks part of the modest victory lap for this band who remain a celebrated force in the hearts of their fans. While the years haven’t been particularly kind to them, taking into consideration a somewhat dwindling reputation, you can’t help but feel they thoroughly deserve to be onstage cherishing the success of this record. The band give the album the attention it deserves as well, playing the full debut album from start to finish.
It’s clear what a talented bunch of musicians this lot are as they work the big hitters on the record. Notable and clear favourites come with It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning and Ships With Holes Will Sink. Vocalist Adam Thompson is a joy to watch and he’s totally in his element onstage. He’s assuredly from the same school of artists such as The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit. The common denominator being that all of those bands have been capable of delivering heart-wrenching anthems now and again.
It’s a humble affair this one, and I’d put money on this band being past their glory days. Does it matter, though? Not really, and most certainly not tonight. This is more about the existing connection between them and their fans. While they’re unlikely to break much new ground with this live show and sound – it still clearly means a lot to those who are part of proceedings tonight. There’s an enveloping warmth that can’t be ignored. After all, it’s hard not to crack a smile as the forceful sing-alongs ring out. While some of the emotionally stark tracks on show are quite heavy to swallow on a Friday night, the band and those gathered here tonight will undoubtedly remember it for a long time.