Saturday night at Slim’s, Scotland’s latest chug-a-pint-and-shout-along indie import We Were Promised Jetpacks plowed through a straight-ahead 50-minute set that was short on the chit-chat but heavy on the rocking. With aggressive guitars and the big-piped vocals of Adam Thompson, We Were Promised Jetpacks overcame some curiously poor acoustics (read: ear-bleeding feedback that none of the openers experienced) to delight the packed house.
“Your body was black and blue,” the crowd sang repeatedly as an open-mouthed Thompson stepped back from the microphone on “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning,” a song that evokes countless UK films about abusive and alcoholic fathers. The dark and earnest lyrics almost make you feel guilty for enjoying the sing-along so much.
At any point in the show, We Were Promised Jetpacks could sound like a dozen seminal bands over the past thirty years, from early U2, to the Smiths, even to Bloc Party. There was a throwback feeling to the entire evening. During “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” a single from the Jetpacks’ debut album, “These Four Walls,” one fan even waved a real-life lighter instead of the iPhone app.
But that’s kind of the point of this foursome of Scots: they echo all the greats while being wrapped in a nice, new 21 year-old package. A very American concept. Maybe that’s why they’re taking the States by storm.
A Half-Built House
Quiet Little Voices
Moving Clocks Run Slow
Back to the Bare Bones
A Far Cry
It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning
Roll Up Your Sleeves
This Is My House, This Is My Home
Ships With Holes Will Sink