“This is so weird,” JAWS frontman Connor Schofield says as he looks around the Hackney Showroom, where he and his band are stood on a stage in the centre of the room. Audience-goers flank the front, back, and sides of the floating stage. “I have no idea where to look. You’ve got the view of our drummer Ed’s back. Sorry. Usually he’s facing front, like us.”
The 360-degree nature of tonight’s Fluffer Pit Party has the crowd flanking all corners of the stage, causing for one giant, massive, raucous mosh pit where the band are smack-dab in the middle of. With an all-day lineup that included the likes of Hey Colossus, Spectres, Phobophobes and the ever-ace PINS and JAWS topping the lineup in a co-headline slot, Fluffer Pit Parties are never one to miss.
Manchester’s PINS take to the stage first with their brand of sludgy, caustic punk. Fresh off the release of new EP ‘Bad Thing’, the band unleash chaos with ‘Aggrophobe’ and a slew of new cuts. The five-piece are a blur on stage – each member looks fixatedly out at a different direction, yet they flit across the stage constantly to share mics between verses, shouting the chorus, “So many actions, so many voices.” Words that tonight have even more of a cult-like feel.
With ‘LUVU4LYF’, there’s certainly an anarchic ethos that is characteristic of the band’s recent tour-mates Deap Vally and Demob Happy. The punk number has the band sounding their best yet, vocalist Faith Vern spitting out lyrics with every uneven breath: “I would die for you, but I’d love you for life.” Guitarist Lois Macdonald and bassist Anna Donigan provide gritty, atmospheric undertones, the chorus exploding into a cathartic sing-shout experience for all. Track ‘Young Girls’ is a softer offering, but no less memorable, mixing jangly guitars and a thumping bass with melancholic choruses.
JAWS’ unique brand of diffused, indie lo-fi seems more amplified than ever in this Hackney warehouse. Still high off the release of second album ‘Simplicity’ last year, the Birmingham band offer a selection of new and old favourites, their signature guitar-heavy psychedelia creating an atmosphere that’s equal parts ambient and unruly. There’s a cinematic aspect to track ‘Just a Boy’; frontman Connor Schofield’s melodic verses coupled with the soft chiming guitars burst into a crescendo of noise. The crowd are treated to slices from debut ‘Be Slowly’; ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ is more mellow, and crowd favourite ‘Gold’ a transcendent number. The band have hit their heights, translating their ambient noise-pop to an even better platform live. We can’t wait for more JAWS.
Photos: Patrick Gunning