We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh, 21 Nov

Jetpacks' first of two nights airing new material at Sneaky Pete's is a jubilant affair that also sees the four-piece cracking out some old classics

Live Review by Lewis Wade | 23 Nov 2017

The room has been filling up steadily since the start of Fiskur's understated, but highly entertaining set (Servant and I Become Silver being particular standouts), and everyone is nicely squashed in and ready by 8.45. It's been over a year since We Were Promised Jetpacks played a headline gig – a hefty gap for a band that usually gig relentlessly – and there's a restless energy to the audience that is perfectly matched by the band as they take the stage.

There's no sign of nerves across the opening few (all new) songs that plumb typically WWPJ depths of raw emotion and quiet/loud dynamics. The band maintain a self-serious intensity that has become a trademark of their live shows, punctuated by Adam Thompson's crackling delivery and thousand-yard stare between verses (or at least to the back of Sneaky's, which is maybe 20 yards or so).

The crowd react well to the new material, which is suggestive of more nuanced songwriting/arrangements and a willingness to experiment, rather than the pummeling mania of 2014's Unravelling. But, unsurprisingly, it's old classics that elicit the biggest reactions. Human Error and This is My House, This is My Home bring the show to life before Short Bursts sees Darren Lackie go absolutely apeshit on the drums. They end the night with Repeating Patterns, an unreleased song they've had kicking around for a couple of years; a ferocious, angst-ridden cut that conjures images of an angrier, Scottish-er Wild Beasts or Everything Everything.

Speaking after the gig, Thompson confides that the band “thought it might be a bit risky playing ten new songs...” but judging by the jubilant atmosphere as the sold-out crowd try to extricate themselves from the sweaty pit that Sneaky Pete's has become, it's safe to say that the gamble paid off.