Four years ago, I was stood in a tiny Birmingham venue waiting for B-Town giants Peace to grace the stage with their we-don’t-give-a-shit feel-good indie vibes. Before them, an unknown band nervously performed before us. “They’ll never make it”, I said. Little did I know that, within a matter of years, JAWS would emerge from the shadows of the B-Town scene, and capture a sense of youthful angst unexplored by their fellow Midlands rivals.
Beginning with ‘Just a Boy’, JAWS establishes the mood for a set that is filled with energy and a whimsical nostalgia. ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ provides a suitable contrast, with the song showcasing the band’s more mellow side.
“I’m not very good at talking”, Schofield informed us. But this didn’t matter. New album Simplicity is surprising as much for its maturity as it is for its honesty. It is an album that deals with issues of anxiety and self-isolation in a world that increasingly pressures us to have an exteriority of strength. JAWS’ set is filled with songs that have a bold exterior and roaring Cure-esque guitar chords, yet are based in a broken anxiety. Schofield has a shy sensitivity but a sense of unquestionable boldness through music, however awkward he might tell us that he feels.
The band’s encore of ‘Gold’ closes the night, and the atmosphere is one of pure elation. With a set that was filled with energy and an overbearing sense of rawness, it was a gig that the dooey eyed denim-jacket clad indie kids, the driving force behind the crowd’s energy, will remember with fondness for years to come.
I might not be the fifteen-year-old at the centre of the mosh anymore, but it was with a heart-warming nostalgia that I watched a band who have only soared in talent over the years deliver such an accomplished set.