Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
December 3, 2015
Tonight is Mystery Jets’ smallest gig in years, with 125 fans crammed into the tiny confines of Ramsgate Music Hall – so miniscule, in fact, the band had to strip back their setup and, earlier in the week, rehearse within a taped out space the same size as the stage. They’re here to perform a special gig crowning it Britain’s Best Small Venue in association with Jack Daniel’s and, to make the night even more memorable, they’re treating those present to an early preview of new album ‘Curve Of The Earth’ in its entirety.
Lead single ‘Telomere’ opens, with needling guitars and rousing drums and bass. It’s a soaring start, and one that sets the mood for the night – the word epic may have become overused to the point of becoming void of meaning in the 21st century lexicon, but there’s no better word for tonight. Each song is grand and ambitious, Blaine Harrison’s vocals gliding mile-high over his bandmates’ wide-eyed compositions.
This gig is only the third time that the group have played ‘Curve Of The Earth’ in full, following preview shows in London and Japan. Despite the unfamiliarity of the first 45 minutes of the set, the crowd are enthusiastic and receptive for the likes of the burbling immediacy of ‘Bubblegum’ and the sprawling, searching ‘1985’. The main bulk of the set concludes with two songs led by guitarist William Rees, the gentle sway of ‘Saturnine’, and ‘The End Up’. The latter, a soul-searching reflection on relationships, fate and growing up, builds from tenderly plucked acoustic guitars to swelling urgency, Kapil Trivedi’s fast rolling drums adding exigency to Rees’ cries of “I hope I end up with you”.
Before the band can get on with playing “some songs you know”, there’s the small matter of presenting venue owner Julian Biggs with an award for winning Britain’s Best Small Venue. “Without you, we wouldn’t be here,” Biggs addresses the crowd in front of him, before thanking Mystery Jets and “musicians like them”. Plaque presented, the party lifts with 2008 indie disco staples ‘Young Love’ and ‘Two Doors Down’. “You’ve been an amazing audience,” Rees tells the audience between whoops and hollers as the set closes with an anthemic ‘Alice Springs’ and the band disappear back to their dressing room through a trap door in the stage, where they praise the “otherworldly” sound, and jubilant fans head up to the bar to raise a glass to a very special night in a unique, intimate venue.
Mystery Jets played:
‘Blood Red Balloon’
‘Taken By The Tide’
‘The End Up’
‘Two Doors Down’