Finally on a long anticipated UK tour, Spacey Jane came to Nottingham's Metronome - Bethany Coldwell shares her thoughts.
Approaching the Metronome, my stomach was doing backflips at the sheer excitement of what I was about to see; a dream from my late teens, about to come true. Spacey Jane were finally touring the UK. My year was made by April. I had not previously been to the Metronome, and upon entering I was surprised at how small but welcoming the main room was. Rather empty at first, the room quickly filled up with excited faces and hands holding pints. For one of many sold out shows, on the other side of the world, it was an amazing welcome for them.
A perfectly fitting support act, Morgan Harper Jones took to the stage, winning the hearts of the crowd with her angelic voice and effortless sense of humour. Her relatable lyrics and Dodie-like sound was a beautiful opening to an incredible night, and although a contrast to the rocky nature of Spacey Jane, her confidence and charm really set the tone for what was to come. Encouraging audience participation, she introduced her song Joshua by asking if there happened to be one in the audience. To our luck, we had brought one with us, however he was unfortunately getting a drink from the bar - typical. Morgan asked that we sing to him upon his return, much to everyone's amusement, and to his confusion, we did. This became a running joke throughout the night, with the smiles sticking around until the journey home! She was truly great, and played a beautiful set of heartfelt and painfully relatable songs. I left the show glad to have come across her.
As a proud Spacey fan, I had been awaiting a UK tour since their first single Feeding The Family, a recurring song in my 'Top 100' Spotify playlist over the last few years. My love for them has only grown since then, with Caleb Harper's intimate and personal lyrics consistently playing with my heart strings. I’ve found myself slowly but surely adding Spacey Jane songs into my playlists as I’ve found myself being able to relate to his beautifully written, diary-like lyrics. After years of waiting to see the band live, the day finally came, and my love for them grew unfathomably more.
''From the first word, every member threw their all into the performance''
Finally, the lights went down. the furthest from home they’ve ever been, Australian indie-rock band Spacey Jane took the stage and left me completely and utterly speechless. It’s a very overwhelming feeling hearing a song you’re used to listening to on the train through your headphones or late at night in your bedroom surrounded by a group of people singing along with you, in front of the band who wrote it. Spacey opened with Weightless, a timeless classic in their discography and one of my personal favourites. From the first word, every member threw their all into the performance. The combination of Caleb's edgy voice, the energetically played instruments, and the blue and purple lights was the recipe for an incredibly memorable opening song.
Although simple, the lighting was well suited for the performance, adding emphasis on heavier drum beats and rockier choruses, but not taking away from the real performers that were ruling the stage, instead highlighting their colourful personalities. They interacted with each other and the crowd like a room full of best friends, and truly owned the stage like that's what they were born to do. From Caleb's confident strutting to Ashton's head-thrashing jumps, the band took control of their space with such confidence it was absolutely admirable. They were not just playing music, it was truly a performance they threw their all into. They rightfully took up the whole space and, I understand it seems slightly cringe, became one with the music and the instruments.
The band chose a super line-up of songs, with slow and meaningful songs like Love Me Like I Haven't Changed emphasising the beautiful voice Caleb has, and exhibiting the musical talent of the band. The vulnerability that is offered through their lyrics, particularly with the slower songs such as Wasted On Me and Booster Seat, was expressed so blatantly through their performance. You could tell that every word was intentional, and you could feel what was felt during the writing process of the song through the intimate and emotional delivery. I feel this was emphasised by the intimate sized venue as the band were stood right in front of us, and it was easier to feel like they were 'real people' rather than voices though your headphones.
As well as these, the band played some of their more upbeat songs like Good For You and Thrills which filled the room with energy that was reciprocated by the crowd, who danced and laughed all evening. A permanent smile on everyone's face. Energetically executed guitar solos left the crowd speechless. Never have I seen such stage presence, and the energy was electric. My favourite of the set list, although hard to choose, came in the encore, in which the band was well applauded for their return to the stage (rightly so). Good For You, one of the band's singles from 2018, was just incredible. Every face was beaming with happiness, with flashing lights and dancing from every (standing) member of the band, it really was everything I'd hoped it would be and more.
''Never have I seen such stage presence, and the energy was electric''
One thing that I, along with the friends that I attended with, loved about seeing this band perform was how clearly grateful they were that people had not only showed up, but loved their songs enough to be singing their lyrics back to them. After an interview with front-man Caleb Harper, he'd explained how Head Cold was a particularly personal song for him, about family relationships. Just before the intro to the song, he whispered 'what the f*ck' to the back of the room, as though in disbelief at the support their music was receiving globally. It really seemed to be a moment of 'holy sh*t is this real life?'.
I’m not one to gatekeep (okay maybe I am) but Spacey Jane is one band who I will time and time again recommend to friends and music lovers alike. I would describe their music as 'perfect songs to play on the aux, loud, in the sunshine with the windows down'. I can now add to that description: 'to listen to in a room of 300 people', as their sound was incredible, and I'd have to say one of my favourite live performances. As an Australian band specifically, it is a huge step for them to be touring the UK, with an upcoming American tour and second album just around the corner for them too. I can't wait to watch this band grow, as I’m sure they will and deserve to, and truly cannot wait for what the future holds for them. Hopefully another UK tour, if we should be so lucky.
Edited by: Amrit Virdi