At SXSW last year, We Were Promised Jetpacks had the unenviable task of opening the Scottish Showcase night that featured Camera Obscura, Glasvegas, Primal Scream and more, yet they nearly stole the show. This year, as they finish a headline tour of the US, they’ll be one of the must-see bands of the entire festival.
Vic Galloway on We Were Promised Jetpacks:
With their acclaimed ‘These Four Walls’ debut album winning plaudits left, right and centre across the world, and especially in the USA, Jetpacks are starting to become real contenders for the next underground Scottish band to break through.
If you’ve not come across them yet, they write huge, anthemic songs without sounding cliched or desperate. Their yearning, lung-bursting vocals and raw, jagged guitar lines demand your attention with an urgency, honesty and intimacy that brings you in for repeated listens.
I’ve seen them live many times, and they always blow me away.
Scotland on Tour with Vic Galloway, February 8, 2010
See also Dear Scotland interview with We Were Promised Jetpacks
If the nascent WWPJ aural template embraced light-footed compositions – few effects pedals, traditional song structures, clear-cut guitars – succeeding years have seen WWPJ soar aural heights and mine emotional depths in every sense: the band you will encounter now are a cacophonous tour de force: louder, wilder, avidly literate; fiercely melodic, yet eagerly restrained. Lyrics and vocal melodies come courtesy of Adam Thompson, everything else arises from the full group; Adam Thompson (Guitar/Vocals), Michael Palmer (Guitar), Sean Smith (Bass) and Darren Lackie (Drums).
You could loosely pin some reference points onto WWPJ; the vocals reminiscent of Morrisy or Paul Banks (Interpol), clever guitar interplay similar to something you’d hear on a Billy Mahonie track, dynamically you could compare them to Mogwai, and generally Futureheads/Hot Club De Paris/Postcard/Fire Engine are all good markers.
Band website: www.myspace.com/wewerepromisedjetpacks
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Quiet Little Voices (Live on KEXP)
Photo Credit: Alex Crick
Confirmed SXSW gigs are listed below and will be updated if and when more shows are added.