Jettblack @ Rescue Rooms, 12/02/2015

There’s a tendency to arrive fashionably late to gigs. Understandable. Local gigs in Nottingham seem to start and finish early and it’s not always particularly convenient to try to get to town for 6:45. Frankly basing it on a history of going to gigs, it isn’t always worth it. Tonight was a gentle reminder of how rewarding it can be to make the effort to arrive early.

LTNT walked onto the stage and tore through an impressive set of intelligent and impressive hard rock. The performance demanded attention. There were three men on stage but the wall of sound they were able to create, through smart guitar tones, intense drum patterns and a clever use of bass chords made it sound as though I was stood in front of an army of thousands of skilled musicians. The only thing that differentiated these guys from a band I would expect to headline Rescue Rooms, was the charisma. A lot of the set felt static and whist the music was fantastic, the crowd ‘banter’ left a little to be desired. Despite this, LTNT remained the most impressive opening act I had seen in a long, long time.

This set a high precedent for the night. One which I was not expecting Sons of Icarus to follow particularly successfully. I hadn’t heard of them before the gig, and perhaps my ignorance caused me to underestimate them. Once again I was very pleasantly surprised by a band who were tight, played beautifully crafted songs and had a lot of talent. They provided a sound that seemed to almost perfectly merge the influences of Jettblack and LTNT, bringing the bill together nicely. Storming through a fantastic set to rival their predecessors, the support bands proved their worth that night. I had to give the edge to Sons of Icarus for the energy they brought to the show, and their ability to warm the crowd up for Jettblack.

This left me with lower expectations for the second time in the evening. I had seen Jettblack four times before this gig, and they had always been sensational, but surely they’d struggle after a support bill this strong? Actually it was the opposite, the line-up had left the hundreds of fans in the building itching for another fix of rock and they were perfect for supplying this. The levels of anticipation for the headliners were through the roof as the lights dimmed once more. The sounds of a thunderstorm echoed through Rescue Rooms and stage lights provided blinding flashes of lightning as Will Stapleton slowly crept out onto the stage. As soon as he was spotted the crowd erupted and he started to gently tease a sound familiar to those who had followed the bands work previously. Another flash of light later and he was joined by his bandmates who shot into the title track from their last album, the aptly titled, ‘Raining Rock’. The guys then used their second song to play a brand new track, this would have been a risky move, but the material Jettblack debuted was incredible. Over the course of the night Jettblack treated fans to four songs from their unreleased new album, with a highlight being ‘Disguises’, a strong metal track that takes no prisoners. If the whole album sounds as good as the tracks did at this show, then 2015 will be the year Jettblack step up and prove their dominance in the sphere of rock. As well as putting on a phenomenal show filled with new tracks and classic fan favourites, the band displayed their musicianship by drifting seamlessly from their own material into an incredible mid song cover of ‘Paint it Black’. The crowd were deafening throughout ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ and the set rounded off with a heroic encore which consisted of ‘The Sweet and Brave’ and the new single ‘Explode’. An incredible gig provided by three increasingly impressive bands. Well done.

By Liam Fleming



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