There are some gigs that transcend the normal live music experience, gigs that are so uplifting and powerful that merely writing about them could never do them justice. Swansea trio Trampolene’s gig at the Magnet last week in Liverpool was certainly one of those occasions when ‘you had to be there’ to fully appreciate it. It was quite simply a magnificent, adrenaline-fuelled riotous night that defied convention and redefined what a live music gig can be.
Despite the fact there was a train and bus strike compounded by the fact that new music can often be a bit of a hard sell in Liverpool, singer-songwriter-guitarist poet Jack Jones aided by his band Trampolene filled every inch of the venue with the sheer force of his personality immediately connecting with the each and every member of the audience. It’s a rare and beautiful thing to see an artist make such an electrifying alliance with the audience, to tear down the barriers between artist and fan and to make everybody feel an integral part of the whole experience. The band’s performance was phenomenal as they raced through their wonderful long player ‘Swansea to Hornsey’, an album which takes the indie guitar template merges it with some explosive rock riffs, kicks it up its insouciant skinny jeaned arse whilst injecting it with poetry intelligence compassion and truth.
Jack Jones is the sort of songwriter who can find glitter in the gutter, find hope amongst the shit and detritus that litters the streets and see stars shining in the reflection of the rain-soaked paving stones. Make no mistake Jack is the real deal as was evidenced by this performance which took audience participation to new heights, from passing his guitar around for the assembled throng to play, to getting up close and personal with his fans the bond was clear. Given the current climate, some artists would perhaps shy away from any sort of physical interaction, but this was two-way street born out of mutual affection and respect. And that is what Trampolene are all about as Jack explained to the audience – the fans are as important as the band, they are all in this together. An incredible gig which mixed the often brutal realism of Jack’s spoken word poetry, which has already been described by Dr John Cooper Clarke as “Exceptional poetry, funny and depressing at the same time and how often can you say that” with songs of tenderness and explosive power featuring some magnificent guitar work from Jack.
A word too for the support acts. Three From Above, a relatively new band local band who already seem to have amassed an exciting collection of songs gave an impressively energetic and committed performance. The Rackets from Widnes who had just finished touring with Louis Berry admitted they were knackered but played a lively fast-paced set which was fretted with the same sort of intensity as Derry three-piece Touts who seem to be at the vanguard of the melodic no fucks given post-punk revival. And not forgetting Shy Billy whose live sets are all about intensity, embodied perfectly by frontman Henry Pulp’s psychotic wild-eyed performance. The addition of Tom ( Of Little Triggers) seems to have added a new dimension to their sound and their fierce live performances’ have probably not quite been suitably captured on their recorded material yet. But tonight was really all about the headliner, and Trampolene look set to grab 2018 by the scruff of the neck and give it a damn good kicking. And all this for just six quid, kudos to This Feeling for getting it together and overseeing such a memorable night!
the Rackets (above)
Three From Above