The Mystery Jets

HOLLY STEVENSON: ‘They felt more like children’s entertainers than bad ass rock ‘n’ rollers.’

Holly Stevenson Indie Mystery Jets The Junction

25th October, 8pm at The Junction. £12.50


The last time I went to the Junction was to see Good Shoes in 2005. Back then I was the height of cool with my plastic beads and rainbow Converse. The gig was the best thing I’d ever been to, like, ever. Well, I’m delighted to report that it hasn’t changed a bit – I could swear that even the TopShop kids giggling with their cans of Strongbow were the same ones.

The Mystery Jets like you to think that they’re Syd Barratt’s secret love children and don’t really know how to dress properly; but the truth is they know how to read a crowd. Their performance of the Count and Siniden’s anthem ‘After Dark’, a bongo-bashing delight that they provided the vocals for was the highlight of the show; the crowd whipped up into a frenzy when the lead vocalist Blaine Harrison, with a sly wink, told them ‘we don’t play this song very much – but we will for you.’ An order from bassist Will Rees to sit on each other’s shoulders was made deliciously rebellious when he added ‘go on, they can’t stop you’.

They felt more like children’s entertainers than bad ass rock ‘n’ rollers. Still, whoever hires these guys would get one hell of a party. ‘Flakes’, ‘First to Know’ and ‘Half in Love with Elizabeth’, to name but a few, fizzed and twinkled from their instruments. There was a noticeable absence of tracks from their first album, the excellent ‘Making Dens’, a sign, perhaps, that they are less confident of their material than they seem.

None of this really mattered. It was the happiest gig I have ever been to. The place was filled with pre-teens bopping in unison looking like they had eaten several pounds of Haribo. It was like dancing inside an Innocent Smoothie carton. I left with a smile nudging each ear; and yet the sense that I had been transported to another world, the transcendental high that comes from feeling that you and the music are one, was conspicuously missing. It was all glitter with no sparkle.

But, if you’re reading this and you’re 15, add another star.