Gig Review: Jumpin Jacks 4.5.17 featuring Mint + Feva / Deep.Sleep / Casual Threats and the Phosphenes
Thursday night saw a bumper package of up and coming bands play at the intimate Jumpin Jacks venue, including a total of 4 local support bands ahead of headliners Mint, hailing all the way from Grimsby.
First up where Newcastle based “The Phosphenes” delivering a mix of covers and own material. Their influences are unmistakably 90's brit pop, blended with punk vibes, perfectly brought together by frontman Matty Oliver’s striking voice and enthralling persona. Their set certainly left you yearning to be in a festival field dancing with your mates in the summer sun.
Next up were Casual Threats, and straight away things were moving into a much darker post-punk realm. Antagonistic riffs and melodies delivered with a confident and riveting stage presence. Some initial tuning issues were easily overlooked and forgotten once the fast and ferocious “Suarez” kicked in and got the intimate crowd rocking along for the remaining of their set.
Having just played their first headline gig a few weeks ago to celebrate the launch of their single “1994”, Deep.Sleep continued their epic stints of local gigs tonight. These guys have really started to build up a great repertoire of catchy indie tunes which once again were delivered with charisma and passion by the four-piece. One of those stand-out tracks for me was the currently unreleased “Orange English Sun”, which according to frontman Daniel Frend is an anthem to being proud of where you are from – Newcastle in Deep.Sleeps’ and the majority of the crowds case - and features a chorus almost impossible not to sing along to even if you had never heard it before.
Final support act of the night was also the newest on the scene: FEVA. These guys have been gigging a lot recently, including Stockton Calling, Meet The North and support slots for various bands including Shimmer Band and Otherkin. The band onstage antics may have been more subdued compared to their predecessors, however their performance nonetheless fully captivated the audience thanks to thundering riffs, seductive lyrics and the spine-tingling voice of frontman Sam, especially during the band's two currently released tracks, My Woman and Waiting room.
Headline act of the night were bravely named Mint, who had most recently played in Newcastle during the Canny Fringe Festival in March. I was already impressed with the lads then, due to the real passion and energy these guys put into their live performances. Especially frontman Zak, who also has the most impressive rock-star hair you will see for a long time, engaged with the crowd throughout pulling and making the small space feel even more intimate.
Their set included a mix of already crowd-favourites Elise, Wonderland and Wolves as well as some new tracks which were just as well received. One of those a ballad in remembrance of someone close to the band, which undeniably had me close to tears by the end. Mint are one of those bands that write honest, heartfelt songs and match them with memorable choruses which will have them humming in your head for days to come.