Making waves as one of several bands to come out of Birmingham in recent years, JAWS has a sound that can be hard to articulate, but certainly not to dance to. With their music being compared to everyone from Foals to fellow Brummies Swim Deep and Ride, JAWS create dreamy layers of sound that seem to exist somewhere between the indie and shoegaze genres.
With each song washing over listeners with easy-listening rhythms and riffs, it’s no surprise JAWS draws a unique crowd. Taking the stage on a Monday night in Edinburgh’s crypt venue, the Caves, the band are eagerly welcomed by a melting pot of music fans bobbing heads over pints, post-hipsters wielding DSLR cameras, and pre-teen girls alongside dads eagerly dragged along. Following the opening indie bands Social Contract and Marsicans, a dark stage with a symphony of noisy low bass and guitars reverberates through the caverns.
A dim blue light grows with the crescendo of the music before JAWS take the stage. ‘JAWS’ is written in lights behind the band, the letters changing colour to the rhythm, creating a warmth and intimacy in the venue. Responding to concert-goers hunger, JAWS transmits tunes with unshakable energy and trickling guitar-riffs reminiscent of their namesake and slightly-beachy vibe. With half the crowd attempting middle school moshing and the other half singing along, the atmosphere is eclectic but undeniably welcoming. Whoever you are, you could easily lose yourself in the combination of moving bodies and swimming sounds.
With two albums under their belt, JAWS play a mix of songs from both, much to the crowd’s delight. When the time comes for JAWS to step off stage, and the audience requests an encore, frountman Connor Schofield explains the flaw of the beautiful venue’s many caves—that it leaves the band with not a lot of space to exit and return to do an encore. With the audience’s appetite ready for more, the band announces that they will play a few more songs before bursting into ‘Right in Front of Me’, the second single from their recent album. JAWS finishes with ‘Gold’, perhaps the most anticipated song of the evening. Schofield croons, “take me where the gold drips from the sun to my back” as the audience sings and dances along, pulsating with the trickle of guitar riffs amidst a sea of sound.
Image: Phil Morris, Sonic PR