As voted by NME, Tunbridge Wells Forum is put down as ‘Britain’s Best Small Venue’, and I have to definitely agree with that. The venue has hosted previous bands such as Foals, Drenge and Wolf Alice, and here, on Friday night, JAWs played their eighth gig of their UK tour, supported by the fabulous HAUS.
JAWs originate from Birmingham alongside bands such as Swim Deep, Superfood and Peace, all belonging to the ‘B-Town’ indie music scene. By February 2013 the NME was writing how ‘at this rate, with so many brilliant Brummie bands doing the rounds, they’re gonna need a bigger B-Town’, following up a few months later with, ‘it’s a fact: 2013 is all about the bands from Birmingham’.
Unfortunately and very surprisingly, there was not a big turn-out for this night, but this gave the chance for an even more intimate gig, allowing me to get right to the front of the audience, not missing a single word or beat. HAUS started off the night, playing tracks such as ‘Token’, ‘February’ and ‘Green’. For a new, up-coming band, the guys have a great chemistry as if they have been performing for years, and their infectious energy easily transferred to the audience, getting the small crowd jiving along. The lead singer’s clear, recognizable vocals, allow each song to gently flow into one another. Most importantly, to top it off they were pretty nice guys; I have to say two hi- fives in one night is an accomplishment in my books, plus being their first customer to buy their band’s t-shirt, I was pretty chuffed.
Next on the agenda was JAWS with their dreamy pop sound. JAWs have released singles such as ‘Toucan Surf’ and ‘Surround You’ in 2012, followed up this year in the same promising fashion with their latest track ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ released just a few weeks ago, with a slightly gentler sound. JAWs take you back in time and frontman Connor Schofield’s voice puts you into your imaginary world as you immerse yourself and feel a part of their lyrics. For example, one of my favourite tracks they performed, ‘Breeze’, with the opening words ‘Hold my hand, think of me/ I’ll take you to the beach’ leading into the repetitive chorus ‘I want it, I need it, yeah’ got the whole audience chanting along. But it was their track ‘Gold’ that really got the audience jumping about and filling the venue with that same infectious energy. Think I fancy a trip to the beach after all that.
By Olivia Chapman