Mystery Jets, Spaceland, February 18, 2009
Review follows below.
Remember those cheesy yet sometimes brilliant 80’s music videos? The ones that had ridiculous costumes, preposterous sets, bad acting, incongruous storylines, sporadic effects. All of which, at best, were tenuously extracted from the lyrics by budding directors and multi-talented band members. Mystery Jets latest release Twenty One sounds like the above process, only in reverse. It is an album made up of musical transcriptions of those happy carefree video-depicted worlds. Which could have been bad if the music was not played so confidently and the lyrics sung with less conviction. Halfway through the set lead singer Blaine Harrison asked “Is everyone having fun?” How could you not, I thought. It felt good to be amongst the many at Spaceland who were dancing and singing along to every lyric. Bassist Kai Fish looked especially festive with his newly dyed blonde hair. Interspersed throughout the set were a few older gems such as “The Boy Who Ran Away,” “Diamonds in the Dark,” and “Alas Agnes” which fit nicely with the energy of Twenty One.