Live review: We Were Promised Jetpacks at ABC, 16/12/11

This was never going to be a quiet event, new album opener ‘Circles and Squares’ bursting from their instruments it’s obvious that the hometown audience has spurred the band onto play that little bit louder, these amps do go up to 11.

Almost immediately after the last note of ‘Circles and Squares’ rings out, the intro to ‘Quiet Little Voices’ fires up starting the crowd bouncing threatening the beginnings of a mosh pit that never fully forms until later.

‘Medicine’ works the same way, nobody does loud anthemic choruses quite like Jetpacks.

We Were Promised Jetpacks can switch between quiet melancholic and noisy ‘push each other around tracks’ with ease, as ‘This is My House’ slowly echoes around the ABC’s main hall the crowd fall just about silent other than a few fans singing back “oh no, they found me”.

The silence is temporary as ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ finally starts up the mosh pit that had been hiding itself within the bouncing front rows of the crowd.

A fitting track for the cold winters night, “roll up your sleeves in winter and I can wait till summer when you’re warmer”.

The set list is full of old favourites, heavy on material from ‘These Four Walls’ but the new tracks stand out, holding their own against the tried and tested numbers.

‘Pear Tree’ and ‘Picture of Health’ both prove to be set highlights, the former being the quintessential Jetpacks song, going from loud to silent with a huge chorus over the stomping drum beat and reverberating distorted guitar, at times Adam Thompsons vocals can’t be heard over his bandmates wall of noise, but that’s all in the WWPJ sound.

‘Pear Tree’ also comes with the crowd miss-timing their clap along, with Adam joking “You lot can’t clap for shit”.

The set ends with ‘Its Thunder and Its Lightning’ and it couldn’t be anything else, the crowd bounce along with the build up, there’s even an attempt at starting a ‘here we go’ chant but it’s thankfully lost within the fitting final cries of “i have to say goodnight, ill leave before your punching out my lights”.

The guitars are thrown to the ground and the lights come up sharp as the feedback suddenly stops the crowd erupting with cheer and applause, there’s even a few emotional male audience members as the band disperse to the side of stage.

We Were Promised Jetpacks have tore up the ABC and now with two albums under their belt, a North American tour complete and a live show as complete as this was tonight, you have to believe they can grow to become even more yet.

Words: Ryan Sharpe (@ryn_sh)
Photos: Gordon Ballantyne

More photos including Remember Remember


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