TRAMPOLENE | LIVE REVIEW
The Scene, Swansea, Fri 30 Sept
Not many gigs start with the frontman strolling on stage, crouching down and reading a poem. But Trampolene’s Jack Jones is no ordinary frontman. This particular poem was about his school friends – the ones who got drunk first, lost their virginity first, got their first broken nose, or got expelled. Fittingly most of Jack’s old school friends were at the gig. At the front. Loving every word.
Swansea crowds can be fickle, but if you’re a local boy, your name is Jack and you’re wearing a Swansea City shirt, you’re onto a winner. Jack’s jersey was a retro Swansea City top (for the anoraks among us, it was from the 1996-97 season – the one sponsored by the Evening Post). By the second number, he’d torn off the top and thrown it into the crowd. Underneath he had on another Swansea jersey (the 2007-8 kit with the Swansea.com shirt sponsor ). That too would come off before the end of the night.
Trampolene may be a Swansea band by birth, but they hustled up to London four years back in search of bigger things. Last week they headlined KOKO in Camden and Jack has recently been touring with The Libertines as their resident poet. So it’s all bouncing along nicely for the boys from Townhill. They are an exhilarating watch, a sort of raw, angular indie: too clean and pretty to be proper punk, too dirty and unpolished to be considered pop. Rousing stuff nonetheless.
Midway through the show, Jack was surfing across the crowd on a cloud of vape smoke and mobile phones – playing his guitar laid on his back, held aloft, looking up at the lights. When he finally made it back to the stage it was time for a few more rhymes. He wrapped his mic cable around the neck of his bassist (Wayne Thomas) and reeled off a poem about ketamine, then one about Poundland. Who knew street poetry could work so well mid-show? Later on he swapped places with the audience, about 30 of the crowd coming up on stage as the singer stepped down into the pit and played the next few songs from the floor facing back at his band.
I Want To Be Tom Hardy was probably the standout track before an energetic, raucous set was rounded off with a punked-up, pumped-up cover of The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love. It was a Friday night, and there was no shortage of love in the room as Jack thanked the crowd, Dylan Thomas, the band, Swansea City and all his schoolfriends, took his top off, threw it to a mate, wrapped himself in a Welsh flag and walked off stage. Not a bad homecoming.
words JOE TOWNS photos TIM BATCUP