Jack’s Mannequin – U.L.U., London

By paul

London Kings College KCLSU

Six years ago, a triumphant Andrew McMahon stood on his piano and declared ‘FUCK YEAH LONDON’. His band, Something Corporate had nearly finished their sold out show at the London Astoria and life seemed pretty darn good. Fast forward two years, and McMahon’s world had fallen apart. SoCo on indefinite hiatus; solo project not quite off the ground and then Leukaemia – at the age of 22. Testament to his feisty nature, McMahon battled through and from his hospital bed blogged to the world about his plight. SoCo fans knew that this could be it; McMahon knew it too, and for this reason, last night’s show at KCLSU ? with no support bands, and tickets changing hands outside for œ60+, could be nothing but special.

With two albums now under their belt, Jack’s Mannequin certainly took their time getting over to the UK, but within seconds of taking to the stage and launching into ‘Crashin’ it was obvious that the wait had been worth it. In a set of 17 songs including 8 tracks from Everything in Transit and 8 tracks from new album The Glass Passenger, plus one SoCo track (Cavanaugh Park), the band as a whole had the room singing along from start to finish. ‘The Mixtape’ was well anticipated and did not disappoint. ‘Kill The Messenger’ had the crowd crooning and ‘Holiday For Real’ was a definite high point. Tracks from The Glass Passenger were undoubtedly well received but Everything In Transit really was an exceptional record, and it’s the songs from there which really shone through; however, ‘The Resolution’ really is an excellent track and live, it’s epic chorus of ?I’M ALIVE? resonates in context of the journey McMahon has been through in his relatively few years upon this earth. The added bonus of ‘Cavanaugh Park‘ was bittersweet, but perfect timing, and ending on La La Lie was a beautiful way to end a near perfect set.

More SoCo would have been nice, and a few favourites from Everything In Transit were definitely missed, but the band were tight, the crowd were receptive, and once you’ve shaken off the fact that JM are not as upbeat and rocky as SoCo; it all fits together nicely. Let’s not leave it another six year’s eh…

Full setlist:
The Mixtape
Kill The Messenger
American Love
Holiday For Real
Dark Blue
The Resolution
Hammer and Strings (A Lullaby)
I’m Ready
Cavanaugh Park
La La Lie