Only three and a half years after their gig on our sunny island, English band Mystery Jets returned for their ‘Radlands’ tour in Singapore last Friday. Held at Hard Rock Café, it was a change of atmosphere for the usual gig goers who roamed the vast area of Fort Canning and The Coliseum. It was a close affair, an ambience that boasts rock legacy bound in a place. Clad in my normal gig attire, as I’d like to call it ‘shirtjeanschucks’, I placed myself in a spot, fairly close to the performance space. The background music whilst waiting for the show to start was of the band’s songs, subtly teasing us as the minutes go by.
As the lights dimmed, the audience inched closer to the band’s little “platform”. With great expectations, we await for the great British takeaway that night.
The evening started off with “Someone Purer”, which beckoned the crowd to move along to the upbeat tempo of the song, as Blaine Harrison jived to the tune in his stool chair. Minutes later, the much-loved riffs of “Serotonin” rang across the room with die-hard fans screaming to the lyrics of “SE-RA-TO-NINNNN, you’re burning a hole into my heartttt”, whilst swaying from side to side. I personally felt like I was at a prom night concert, given the intimate settings of the performance, and felt lost in my own world. Their music left me feeling as though I was trapped in the body of my 16-year-old self, a strange yet beautiful transition from reality.
The night and performance grew on me gradually, song after song. Crowd interaction not spared, the band told us of their recollections on their idea for the song “Radlands” during their set. They also went on to explain how weird America was to them, especially Texas. Eventually, their true feelings towards their take of Texas in the time spent there had been expressed and transposed into the title track of their fourth record. “Radlands” has got to be my special pick for the night as it brought me the feeling of being ‘closer to home’, feeling very comfortable in my own skin as they mellowed down the instruments and broke into the chorus of “so may the bridges we burn light the way / out of the darkness of where we have been”; lines that made the song all the more meaningful.
Continuing the momentum was major fan favourite, “Young Love”, bursting into the crowd like a fistful of colours. Although the Laura Marling featured track lacked the actual guest vocals, it did nothing to take away its sheer brilliance. The crowd went wild (in a good way, of course), and signaled for encore. Mystery Jets are not ones to disappoint and thus they celebrated and greeted the encore chants with “Two Doors Down”; the audience doubled up in energy, singing their hearts out. It has got to be one of the craziest crowds I’ve been in, in spite of its size.
The night came to a close with their stunning take of “Luminescence”, marking the end of chapter of their Singapore trip. Fans were moved with emotions, as they bobbed their heads gently to the sultry and mellifluous voices of Blaine and Henry on this particular track. The band, as a whole, performed their set exceptionally well, and made the night simply incredible for their long-time fans.
Each song told a story; and these young British lads of Mystery Jets are intensely talented in their own way, working their magic on the crowd. The night brought back many sweet memories of the past, and I left the café with a huge smile carved on my face.