I don’t know if they’ve put something in the water down there, but there seems to have recently been a big influx of exciting new indie bands coming out of Birmingham and smashing it. From big tours to big record deals, big riffs to big hooks, it’s all been going on. Young quartet Jaws are one of these bands that the kids can’t get enough of at the moment, particularly with tonight’s show at The Academy 3 being a sell out.

Support tonight comes from two UK bands that have also been getting quite a bit of attention at present. First up are local lads Spring King, who I remember seeing a year or two ago and being really impressed with their soulful yet punky sound. I must admit I only managed to catch the tail end of the set, but now they seem to be just straight up punky with spiky guitars and sprightly gang vocals. It’s cool, I can’t say I heard enough to make a informed decision, just judging by what I’ve heard and seen before, Spring King should be on your radar.
Happyness take the main support slot this evening as the Academy 3 fills up with youngsters incredibly buzzed that school is over for the week as Dad stands at the back holding coats and merch. Happyness are three kooky dudes from London who make lo-fi college rock with distorted vocals and fuzzy guitars. It’s pretty fun for the most part but they do bring out a few slow jams. It isn’t so much that they’re not a lovely band but the crowd are restless and on one tune their chatting is even louder than the music. It’s a solid enough set for me to want to go check out their record Weird Little Birthday, but there may have been a few choice song decisions that made the set suffer this evening from the excitable crowd.

So, we then get to Jaws who saunter on the stage and pretty much blast through the hits. There is little in-between song patter except for the quick ‘thanks’, and for the most part they let the music do the talking, playing their reverb heavy yet groove driven blend of indie-pop. Last year they released a cracking debut album called Be Slowly, which was one of my favourite debuts mainly due its youthfulness and simplistic accounts of romance, it just reminded me of a simpler time. So tonight the band to replicate that album really well, although there are a few technical difficulties on the first track once we get into the twinkling synth hook of ‘Surround You’, the crowd start to jump and the sing-a-longs come out to play! Tracks like ‘Swim’, ‘Time’, ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ are greeted with much delight from the crowd and there is no denying this band have a knack for writing a big pop smash.

We even get treated to a couple of new tracks, one of which sees them going for a heavier, grunge-fuelled sound which is very interesting indeed. Tonight is all about the tunes, the band don’t put on one of the best performances I’ve witnessed but at least they don’t stand completely still, they acknowledge the crowd and do seem pleased with their response. But, I do come away wanting a little bit more excitement from the band If I’m honest, but hey, at least the kids are alright.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.