Mystery Jets are one of those fantastic acts that have never quite taken off in the way that they deserve. If you’ve ever watched been to an indie club night or watched The Inbetweeners, you’ll have heard their 2008 single ‘Two Doors Down’, but many people’s knowledge of the band doesn’t extend much further than that. Upon telling a friend that I was going to see Mystery Jets in London, he asked if they are ones that do ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’. They are not.
Female duo Ekkah opened the show with their disco infused electro-pop, which grabbed the crowd’s attention and refused to let go. Backed by a band of synths and electronic drums, the music filled the room and small pockets of people danced along. However, there is one thing that sets Ekkah apart from all the other acts trying to make this kind of music: the saxophone. A saxophone solo can be what makes a good song great, and Ekkah have huge amounts of sax appeal.
Ekkah’s video for their latest single ‘Small Talk’, only slightly reminiscent of Maroon 5’s ‘Sugar’
Next on stage was Bill Ryder-Jones, former lead guitarist of The Coral (another of those bands who were better than their ‘one big single’ suggested). But, unlike The Coral, Ryder-Jones’ new band is more downtempo; their music is a softer, gloomier brand of indie-rock, similar to that of the American band Girls. While the songs are well written and enjoyable, it’s a drastic change of pace from Ekkah and the room’s energy took a sudden drop.
Mystery Jets kicked off their set with ‘Telomere’, the opening track from their newly released fifth album Curve of the Earth. Their musical style may have progressed over the 10 years since their first album, but their ability to write great songs with catchy melodies hasn’t faltered. The fans seem to love the new material just as much as the older tracks, which is something of a rarity.
Mystery Jets’ dark and dirty video for ‘Telomere’
Although the setlist mostly consists of tracks from the latest record, the remainder spans the band’s entire career. The band commented on the new material having a prog rock influence and made joking references to Spinal Tap’s ‘Stonehenge’. Many of the best singles were there, with ‘Alice Springs’ seeing the biggest reaction from the crowd before the band left the stage to return for their encore.
After coming back onto the stage, Mystery Jets put their fans to the test with ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis’ from their 2005 debut album Making Dens. Closing the show was ‘Flakes’, another fan-favourite which saw frontman Blaine Harrison take a back seat and let the crowd sing the first verse all on their own.
The only negative comment anyone had about Mystery Jets’ gig is that it wasn’t longer. They’re a band that have so incredible songs, there’s no way they can all fit into one set. But, it isn’t such a bad thing; it means that every show they play is as a ‘Greatest Hits’.