Mystery Jets, Is Tropical
Nu Rave is dead, guitar indie bands have had their moment in the sun. Tonight's gig at the Speakeasy has examples from both columns and the question on ATL's lips is will this be one of those nights when we awkwardly watch two bands desperately cling to the glory of the zeitgeist of previous years?
In the case of Is Tropical it's a big fat conclusive yes! They are so London it's like watching Kate Moss climb Big Ben with a pork pie hat in one hand and a plate of bangers in mash in the other. They're dressed in ridiculous veil type scarves hiding their faces (a possible reason behind the mumbling vocals), big hoodies over their heads and big gold chains. It's pompous, it's pointless and rightly sets you up for the uber hipster nonsense ready to be boaked out of the speakers.
Their sound is that of the Nu rave clique of Klaxons and Late of The Pier but with none of the experimental nuance's (they do try) of the latter and the sheer flook and right place right time of the former.
It would be wrong of me to be too vitriolic about a band, on scenester's choice French label Kitsune, for being too hipster. After all it's the music that counts, well sort of. It was loud, aggressive, the drummer was breath taking and momentarily had hints of genius but overall it just didn't do anything to lift their heads out of a drowning genre. On the plus side Kitsune also have a fashion label so when the music's finished you can take the show to the cat walk.
Mystery Jets have been gunning it since the mid 2000's, embracing the popularity that came with the guitar indie tag in the middle of the decade and surviving the predictable fall that has conquered many of their contemporaries. When bands like The Kooks and Dirty Pretty Things got mullered on mojito's and patted each others backs about their one semi decent album, the Mystery Jets recorded three extremely quality albums, thus is the success to their longevity.
Tonight they are touring in support of latest effort 'Serotonin'. An album that unsurprisingly features heavily on tonight's set list. The Eel Island natives take to the stage elegantly and cohesively dressed, yet all looking a little worse for wear with numerous cans of energy drinks is a dead give away. As the lads get things under way the crowd in the Speakeasy trapes forward with trepidation, a feeling that lasts throughout the night.
Mystery Jets can't do much wrong tonight. They plough through their impressive back catalogue, they get a few sing-a-long's in the guise of 'Two Doors Down' and 'Young Love' while 'After Dark' commands the biggest dance of the night. It just seems to me that the crowd aren't as ready to pop their limbs and make themselves heard as I had expected them to be. Perhaps the thought of work on Wednesday morning sifted through the collective conscious of the mainly twenty something's in the audience or perhaps I was expecting a more raucous gig than transpired. Either way they were and hopefully will continue to be a fantastic representative of what modern guitar pop is meant to be. Case closed.