Last night, on the final night of a short UK tour, in a sold out, sweaty and rowdy Hare and Hounds, Jaws gave more evidence that this B-Town lark isn’t just a flash in the pan.
As a Birmingham native, the whole B-Town thing inspires two rather contrasting feelings. It’s great to have some bands to be excited about and some attention at a national level, I just wish they didn’t have to give us a shitty nickname. But I digress.
With a young and restless crowd whipped into a frenzy across four (at least two more than any gig needs) support bands, by the time Jaws took to the stage and burst into Breeze, the whole room was a swirling mass of leaping, shoving and jumping. And the faster Donut only poured more fuel on the fire for the wildly juvenile audience.
A gig shouldn’t be judged on the floor though, and what was happening onstage was quite the opposite. Dressed ready for a trip to Hawaii in the early 90s, Jaws produce their sweet and jangly distortion-tinged pop so effortlessly it borders on lethargic, like they’re chilling on a real beach and not just surrounded by inflatable palm trees.
Looking barely older than the kids throwing themselves around in front of them, the band don’t quite have the showmanship yet (“Birmingham is the best place in the world,” was frontman Connor Schofield’s repeated mantra), but they display the raw materials that should see them match or even surpass their friends and current Birmingham starlets Peace. They certainly have the songs.
And with only a handful released so far, their set was short but sweet; a great-sounding new song and an early song supplementing the six that will make up the Milkshake EP, released on 22 April.
Jaws were hailed as “the undiscovered gems of the Birmingham scene” by the Guardian in December, in a lengthy piece profiling them alongside Peace and Swim Deep. With gems like Friend Like You and Surround You already inspiring reactions as frenzied as those witnessed tonight, they won’t stay undiscovered for long.