Thursday, 19 July 2018

Jetstream Pony "Self Destruct Reality" EP launch at The Finsbury Friday 13th July by David Leach

Jetstream Pony "Self Destruct Reality" EP
Drama from the very start. I exit Manor House tube station and am greeted by a thunderstorm - the first rain in the city for weeks. I make a dash for it to The Finsbury pub where tonight’s gig is taking place, but am soon to discover that this is not the only electrically-charged moment of the evening as its pointed out that, during the sound check, the band had been experiencing a little more electricity through their microphones than they were comfortable with. The problems appeared to have been resolved before show time and, thankfully, a ‘self-destruct reality’ is averted! Jetstream Pony are the first band on tonight in what is a four act line up, I am guessing they are a late addition to the bill as having heard their music they strike me as a band who could  probably anticipate being higher up the pecking order .They appear to be on a bit of a roll at the moment as they have been played on BBC radio twice this week, and have gained a few admiring comments in the music media (plus an endorsement from a leading light in the world of indie music) and it is apparent as they take the stage there are a fair few more people than you would normally anticipate being at a show for the first band.

Jetstream Pony Photo by David Leach
The set opens with ‘Not The One’, a track from their new five song EP. Their sound is powerful, immediate and direct. It has something of a commercial, outward looking indie aspect, with not a shamble or a shoe-gaze in sight. I wouldn’t go quite as far as describing it as ‘Power Pop’ as such as, lyrically, there appear to be deeper, and sometimes darker, undercurrents that you wouldn’t associate with that genre. There is, however, certainly a punk bite in the thick bass lines and searing guitar and the tunes are without doubt proper melodic earworms. As the set progresses, they play another track from new EP called ‘Out Of Reach’. Kerry Boettcher’s elongated, jagged bass line intro launches the song; it’s met with Sara Boyle’s metronomic powerful drum beat, Shaun Charman’s chiming guitar joins in echoing the bass line, while Beth Arzy’s cool tuneful vocal gives the sound brightness. This song gets a real groove going and I feel that it’s at this point that the set really starts to take shape and, more importantly, the ‘first band on’ sound issues have dissipated. 

Jetstream Pony Photo by David Leach
‘Zipwire’ is another from the EP; it is the fastest in their set and one can imagine how the track got its title as it’s a pure ‘adrenaline rush’ song. Singer Beth said that the lyrics at the end of the song were influenced by some lyrics by The Dentists although she is reticent to say which one! As a fellow fan of the same band, I would suggest that if you peer behind the door where they keep their universe you will find the answer there. For me the highlight of the set is the lead track on the new EP, ‘Self-Destruct Reality’ - a classic, bitter sweet pop song with a dark side to the lyrics which suggest the public face hides inner feelings of a lack of control. This is wrapped up in a fabulous repeating-patterned guitar melody –which could just be the aural equivalent of the artwork on the band’s single - that weaves through the song, breaking into waves of riffs while the band power on around it. It sounds great on record but, live, it really sounds quite anthemic! Sadly, I have to leave The Finsbury at the end of the Jetstream Pony set and haven’t caught the other artists on the “Get into Her Ears” bill. I have been to The Finsbury before and note that it does have a particular focus on promoting female artists as my last visit was also for an all- girl ‘folk-inspired’ line up. Around that time, I remember seeing a picture of an imagined female-dominated festival bill that was created in response to overwhelmingly male festival line ups. Summing up tonight’s performance, it occurs to me that Jetstream Pony would be a fine band to add to this imaginary bill.

Jetstream Pony Photo by David Leach
You can order the "Self Destruct Reality" EP from the Jetstream Pony Bandcamp site here or check out more information on forthcoming gigs and news at the band's Facebook page here. With many thanks to David for the review and photos.

Jetstream Pony Photo by Alia Halstead, design by Kenji

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