Artist: Mystery Jet’s
Venue: JJ’s, University of York
Date: 7th March 2008
Firstly, I have to admit a little bias when it comes to reviewing University Radio York’s latest incarnation of its Transformer music nights, since I was involved in its organisation. Directly seeing and influencing how an event such as this takes shape is a fascinating experience. The idea of getting a mainstream band onto campus has been kicking around the URY music team for a while, but without a decent venue or any funds to pay them it seemed something of a pipedream. But two weeks ago in a chance e-mail to the Mystery Jet’s promoters we got word that they were very enthusiastic about coming to York – so much so that they would even play for free.
JJ’s in Halifax was hastily booked on the grounds that it already had an acoustic night arranged. However, this decision rather underestimated the amount of interest that a band such as this playing on campus would attract. As the date drew nearer the music team grew worried that with over 400 facebook confirmed attendees, some people would get turned away as the 200 capacity venue filled up. On the night these worries materialised as people were forced to queue outside. Inside JJ’s things went rather better. Both support acts did their upmost to keep the crowds entertained, although there was admittedly a little bit of negativity about the first: perhaps as they were little too Jack Penate middle-of-the-road indie.
But the crowds were there for the headliners and despite turning up in York over two hours later than planned, the Mystery Jets were on stage on time and faced a rapturous reception from the crowd. A banter-heavy set firmly established the Mystery Jets relaxed attitude towards the night. They performed several songs off the soon-to-be-released second album including current single and Laura Marling collaboration, ‘Young Love’. One lucky audience member was recruited by the band to substitute for her and, despite the immense pressure, she definitely rose to the occasion. Although there were a few issues with sound here and there, JJ’s proved to be an adept intimate venue and the Mystery Jets one of the most fun and easygoing bands around. Hopefully, this will mark the start of a new trend of quality live music on campus.