Rubber Jaw w/ Introduction from Alan McGee | Live At Rough Trade East Review

★★

Rough Trade East | 23rd January 2019

If Alan McGee endorses a band, it’s kind of a big deal. The Scot brought many monumental acts to the forefront of alternative music - My Bloody Valentine, Oasis, Primal Scream and dozens more - all under the legendary Creation Records label. Those familiar with Creation will be no doubt delighted to hear that the label has experienced a rebirth in the form of Creation23, which is set to release ten singles from new bands this year.

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Rubber Jaw have the pleasure of representing the new endeavour tonight at Rough Trade East in Shoreditch; humble beginnings for sure, but the venue saw the likes of Shame and Yung Lean play last year. The Colchester act have the chance here to show what Creation23 is all about and prove that fantastic alternative is still alive.

With a quick introduction from McGee, Rubber Jaw take to the stage. It’s quickly evident the bassist isn’t part of the core trio; he’s standing to the far right like Ashley Cole was in his first roster photo with Roma. The group look promising enough though, donning shirts and trousers and surrounded by a plethora of guitar pedals.

First impressions are, for lack of a better word, alright. The crowd remain static throughout, surely not due to the band’s infancy but because of the abundance of slow indie ballads that have already been done a million times. There’s a few awkward muses between songs; frontman Michael Hemmings catches a water bottle to refresh himself, joking that in Elmstead Market there’s nothing to do except music and cricket. He says he’s not good at either of them.

Rubber Jaw trudge through song after song, provoking little more than a few encouraging cheers. Hemmings voice, however, is fantastic, letting out brief moments of madness and twisting his body with shrieks and shrills, although not much blossoms from his efforts; bar the driven, magnificent final track, ‘Feeling Funny’, Rubber Jaw don’t deliver the magic that so many Creation bands before them did.

Granted, Rubber Jaw aren’t a Creation band. They’re a Creation23 band, but one would still expect their performance to hold some kind of notion that they might be Britain’s next big band. Is that setting the bar too high? Perhaps. But if there’s anything to go by, it’s that Alan McGee knows his stuff and what makes a band great. He clearly has faith in this group, but they’re going to need more than his blessing to succeed. The UK doesn’t need anymore Average White (indie) Bands.