Saturday night brought about the long-awaited Mocking Jays headline show to Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms. The night was planned to be a joint headline show between The Mocking Jays, The Rupees and Don’t Forget Rupert, but after a line up change a few weeks ago, Kid Amelia replaced Don’t Forget Rupert on the bill and played support, returning to the more conventional gig set-up.
Opening the night, The Rupees kick-started the show with their electronic rock and roll sound. A self-described ‘unrelenting force of distorted synthesizers and guitars’, the four-piece band from Bristol set the bar high for the rest of the night, and as the venue filled up, more and more people were appreciating their style and power.
"Filled with strong guitar riffs and powerful vocals, Kid Amelia were there to make a statement."
Next up were Brit-rockers Kid Amelia from Nottinghamshire, happy to be back to playing in their hometown. They made a bold entrance on to stage with the drummer donning a large cat head as part of his outfit. Their choice of opening song was Puppet Boy, which instantly grabbed the crowd’s attention. Filled with strong guitar riffs and powerful vocals, Kid Amelia were there to make a statement.
Following on from the relentless opener, they debuted a brand new song yet to be released named I’ll Fucking Give It to You and then went on to cover Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, which the lead singer confessed was hard to do due to his throat being very sore after three nights out performing.
The show then paused for an interlude of a recorded message read out by Siri about climate change and the damage the human population is causing. It was very 1975-esque but did not quite get the response it was looking for as a lot of the audience took that opportunity to talk instead. However, the energy and pace of the performance was soon restored, and Kid Amelia finished on a high with Run.
After a short break, it was then finally time for the main act of the evening, The Mocking Jays. The five-piece indie pop band from Nottingham have been splattered over the Nottingham music scene for the past few years, performing at numerous shows and venues as they grow their musical career.
"It was clear to see that The Mocking Jays had put everything they had into the show and their upbeat positivity and energy whilst on stage is contagious."
The band took their places on the stage followed by lead singer Jay swaggering on to take his position at the microphone, draped in an excessively large fur coat and gold chain which bore a striking resemblance to that of Macklemore in 2012. They kicked off with an audience favourite Kiss My Neck which showcased their energy and high-impact stage presence.
They went on to play more of their well-known songs such as Close to You and Take You Home which Jay interjected with some cheeky remarks rousing laughs from audience members. It is clear to see that The Mocking Jays have been increasing in confidence with every performance, and they were more than comfortable playing to a venue the size of Rescue Rooms.
Next on the setlist was a brand-new song named I Need Emotion which got a great reception from the crowd and managed to show a more mature side to their songwriting and musical ability compared to the more jokey and flirty pop songs they commonly create. Following this was a throwback to one of their early songs Sex on the Beach which reignited the crowd and bringing the show to a close, they performed a cover of the Billie Eilish smash bad guy, adding a pop punk twist, before ending with I Can’t Be (Without Your Love). However, this wasn’t quite the end as almost immediately after exiting the stage, they returned for an encore of Tears of Summer which paralleled the melancholy the crowd were feeling as the night ended.
It was clear to see that The Mocking Jays had put everything they had into the show and their upbeat positivity and energy whilst on stage is contagious. They still have a little way to go if they plan on breaking further into the music scene, but the determination is there. They continue their tour to Deal, The Salty Dog in Northwich and end at Jimmy’s in Manchester over the next couple of weeks, but there is no doubt we will see The Mocking Jays on another Nottingham bill in the near future, so be sure to get down to a show if you are after an injection of feel-good energy into your evening.