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- Mystery Jets »
It seems the incestuous west London rock scene has relocated to SE17, not so much Mystery Jets in the house as Kensington in the Castle. And it’s strictly for the knowingly self-conscious, the preening adherents to the new maxim: if it ain’t skinny it ain’t worth a fuck. And it’s for those whose favourite Zoo time is not weekly on a Tuesday.
** Late of the Pier** are your typical Chelsea rascals; young kids with synths and guitars. They fight a good fight and it’s clear to see the tunes are there, but it’s electro-indie powered as much by their own self-bravado as Battersea Power Station. The kids getting the wrong end of the glowstick lap it up, but everyone else knows someday a real comedown will wash all the scum off the stage….
Ever since I saw Blaine struggling with the stairs at Fabric way back in November, the Mystery Jets have been mute. Luckily he’s okay, hair half-sheared and parted, sporting a banded earring; half Brixton rudegirl, half ginger Cpt Jack Sparrow. And as Henry Harrison is missing, presumed older, apparently a sparrow who has flown the nest.
But they haven’t changed. They still spew forth nuggets of peculiar pop, sideways sea chanties, songs designed to fuck with your head before inhabiting it. From ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis’ in the set is a rush; crazy and boundless like a runaway summer. It only seems like seconds later when the stage is vacant and “zootime!” rises from the heat like the imperial death march. For what it lacks on record, it makes up live as a burst of nonsense psychosis so wired, so disturbed, that for five short minutes it sends us full circle around ourselves and makes perfect sense.
So, in all, it’s probably time to accept the Mystery Jets as a magnificent pop band. To recognise the boyish charm, shambolic barbershop harmonies and instinctual rhythms as the genius of a band wilfully lacking cognitive development. Gah, all I know is the songs crawl into my ears and reconnect my synapses; they tell me to stamp my feet, flail my elbows and spin around in ever increasing circles. In short, I am forced into a white man’s skank. There can be no other logical conclusion.
Eventually the party moves on to a Old Kent Road squat._ “Conversation is the new music,”_ yells someone as they eventually lose patience with the tiny DIY sound-system. Maybe, but I choose to use whatever I’ve ingested over the course of the evening as an excuse not to talk to anyone I don’t already know and sit in the corner. Members of the Mystery Jets shamble in and out of the shadows like yesterdays rock stars should, but it all begins to feel too unwell and I leave as the sun rises through the morning rain.
For me, at least, it’s zootime forevermore…
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