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.

Words: Kyle McCormick


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