Admittedly we were early, arriving little after 5pm for a 6.30pm start time, but Pure Groove’s very own ‘event’ on (I hate to say it) Facebook, showed that 84 people were attending with around 100 maybes and if you know Pure Groove you know it’s the size of a leisure centre changing room. We hung around in the shop for a bit, read The Stool Pigeon and were turfed out so they could set up. Me, Constance and our friend Doug braved the elements- first came the rain, then the wind, then an ear infection; we had numb fingers despite the gloves, numb toes despite boots and socks and were dancing about on the street corner to get the blood flowing but hey- we were ten people from the front and behind us stood ten, thirty, fifty, maybe sixty people more. The clock limped round to 6.45pm, the school girls in front held up a hand-scrawled note pleading to be let in and suddenly the door opened. Before the room was even half full the band had launched into what I believe was Hideaway, the opener on the upcoming album Twenty One. And to keep things fair they had kindly decided to play two gigs to cater for the queue. After the second song, Half in Love With Elizabeth, my fingers had feeling and my nose was a little less pink. Blaine asked ‘any requests?’ to which came differing replies of Zootime! Dennis! Young Love! He replied ‘you all want old songs… so this is Flakes’ and along came the somewhat heartfelt number that Mystery Jets provided as a free Christmas download.
Since the final release of Diamonds... from their debut album Making Dens the band have been pretty quiet down on Eel Pie Island with the odd DJ-set here and Henry “Dad” Harrison stepping-down, but this has clearly given way to fresher, tighter, interestingly layered dance-y gems. I had never seen Mystery Jets until now, which is something I mildly regret as the gigs from here on will focus on promoting Twenty One over Making Dens (an album which I adored from my very first listen). But Twenty One might just supersede its predecessor, avoiding the dreaded crap-second-album trap, because the four boys have been so focused that all-round growth is evident. This was shown by every aspect of Two Doors Down (originally leaked as ‘Girl Next Door’) from the synth-saturated chorus to the lyrics: ‘…I hear that she liked to dance around the room to a worn-out 12” of Marquee Moon…” which would have had my Dad smiling.
Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down