Gig review: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Edinburgh

The talented Edinburgh indie rockers' first single from their new album sounded mature, pointing to steady progress rather than any change in direction

The talented Edinburgh indie rockers' first single from their new album sounded mature, pointing to steady progress rather than any change in direction

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It’s to the credit of Edinburgh-formed, Glasgow-based We Were Promised Jetpacks that these days a gig in a venue the size of Edinburgh’s intimate but still fairly spacious Caves counts as a low-key club set. A decade into their life so far and six years after they released their first album together, the band have established themselves to the extent that the place could sell out, with a couple of hundred tightly packed fans eagerly trying to have a preview listen to material from their forthcoming third album, Unravelling.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Caves, Edinburgh

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In the end, however, it was a show which revealed very little about their new direction, instead being more of a collection of older tracks from the first two albums (all three are on FatCat, a Brightonian indie label which has been particularly favourable to Scottish artists, including WWPJ’s fellow former signees Frightened Rabbit). Sandwiched right in the middle of the set, however, came Safety in Numbers, the first single from Unravelling, and it revealed a sound which was somewhat more mature than that which had gone before, a ragged squall slowed-down and surging under the weight of those guitars.

Otherwise the show harked back to the brisk pop rush of Quiet Little Voices and the slow-build surge of This is My House, This is My Home, with It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning founded on an epic post-rock sound. If the manner of these songs hinted at where the band are at just now, it seems like they’re following a steady progression rather than any kind of stylistic fork in the road.

Seen on 19.09.14

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