We Were Promised Jetpacks // The Deaf Institute // Manchester

14 October 2011

Words: James Murray
Photos: Oliver Stones

There’s no doubt that the release of In The Pit of the Stomach this month has given We Were Promised Jetpacks a tremendous profile boost; and the Edinburgh four-piece are going for gold with extensive US and UK tour dates running until the end of 2011. WWPJ will be flying-out to the US over the coming weeks, and as a result the Manchester show acted as a final, packed-out farewell until their return to the UK in December.

We Were Promised Jetpacks // The Deaf Institute

It’s rare that a band are as suited to a venue as WWPJ were to Manchester’s Deaf Institute. It’s a quirky, mellow venue – usually optimised by the more delicate alternative or acoustic bands and artists that come to the city. How well the charismatic We Were Promised Jetpacks would adapt to the venue was a mystery.

Adapting was never an issue. The dynamic nature of lead vocalist Adam Thompson’s vocals swayed between powerful solos that left a static crowd with goosebumps, to frenzied crescendos that converted this intimate venue into chaos.

Some artists write their music with a live visualisation: WWPJ know exactly how to deliver the quintessential live show. From Quiet Little Voices, taken from the bands debut album, to opening track from the new record – Circles and Squares – WWPJ executed plenty of hard-hitting tracks that twisted The Deaf Institute away from its melancholy comfort.

The live rendition of In The Pit of the Stomach closing track, Pear Tree was the highlight of the show. The downbeat opening minute of the track was adapted to the stage perfectly in order to allow the most dramatic crescendo imaginable; demonstrating this Edinburgh-based bands talent in spectacular fashion.

Adam Thompson // We Were Promised Jetpacks

With smaller-scale gigs support acts are generally fairly unpredictable, but Let’s Buy Happiness have already showed their potential through the brilliant single Dirty Lakes released last month. The live rendition of the single was flawless – as was the rest of their set.

The vocals of Sarah Hall are showcased beautifully in a live environment, and to see an upcoming band with such immaculate composure is promising to say the least. If Let’s Buy Happiness can keep up their newly-found success in the studio then their debut EP/LP could quite possibly receive levels of acclaim comparable to that absorbed by Grouplove and Foster The People.