The Jacarandas’ first triumph is that none of them has passed out in the stifling heat of the packed out Victoria. Their second is bassist Jack Parker (the man responsible for their recent reformation) rounding up the audience during the interval and shepherding them to the front and centre.
The band attack their first track Water Gun with vigour, energy and the most obvious showcasing of front man John Hemsoll’s boy-next-door-meets-Buzzcocks voice, spliced with guitarist Freddie Willetts’ excellent backing vocals.
The britpop punk style is well balanced in that first track, but slides too far off-centre towards pop in subsequent songs. “This next one is about burning your ex-girlfriend’s house down,” exclaims Hemsoll at the start of The Fire Dance. Such an introduction suggests a return to a punchier edge, but it lacks the drive of Water Gun.
They clearly work hard on and offstage as their army of friends and fans will attest, even throwing in an impromptu stage invasion at the end of Off My Mind. Nevertheless, if they are to live up to the hype already surrounding their renaissance, The Jacarandas must meld the grit with the glam and embrace both aspects of the britpop genre.
Words: Will Pace | Photos: Sam Wood