The Mystery Jets have had a good year. Off the back of their third album proper, Serotonin, in July, William Rees and Kai Fish made a guest appearance on The Count & Sinden’s hit track After Dark, which was a mainstay on dance/indie playlists for most of the late summer. Since then, they’ve been on tour literally non-stop since mid-September, playing 38 European gigs since starting off with a double-header at New York’s Mercury Lounge on 14/15 September. They bring this mammoth tour to a close with a home-coming gig at London’s Roundhouse tonight, with signs of tiredness starting to set it.
Walking on stage late (that’s still fashionable), they run through well-rehearsed but largely uninspiring renditions of new album opener Alice Springs, followed by Half In Love With Elizabeth, and already the signs weren’t looking good – tiredness from being on the road, and a continued tiredness, seemingly, of their first album, 2006s Making Dens, I could readily see this was going to be a tried-and-tested-to-oblivion setlist of their poppier numbers. No doubt After Dark was going to make an appearance later on, too.
Having said that, after a very lacklustre first half of the gig, I found myself pleased when they did play After Dark. They found a spark here, along with a storming rendition of Hideaway, lifting themselves and the crowd and finding an energy that carried them through the second half of the set.
The set closed, understandably, with the fantastic Two Doors Down, and as expected confirmed a dismaying absence of anything from the first album. There was no hope of it for the encore, either. It was a shame, as there were clearly many long-time fans in the otherwise very young crowd tonight, with calls for various tracks from Making Dens falling on deaf ears. I can’t help but think that the set would have avoided the sterility of the first half if punctuated by You Can’t Fool Me Dennis or The Boy Who Ran Away.
So now the boys get to take a bit of a break, and they need (and in fairness to them, deserve) it. If they are to keep up this kind of work ethic in future, they’ll have to use their full catalogue of material to avoid being, well, boring.
Half In Love With Elizabeth
Hand Me Down
After Dark (feat. The Count and Sinden)
Flash A Hungry Smile
The Girl Is Gone
Two Doors Down
Dreaming Of Another World
Behind The Bunhouse