LIVE: Boy Jumps Ship / LTNT @ Barfly, London

By Ben Tipple

There is nothing I love more than going to see bands I’ve never heard of with fresh ears and an open mind, so I was stoked to attend Boy Jumps Ship at Barfly on Tuesday.

An early highlight of the evening was a brilliant support slot from LTNT (said like ‘Lieutenant’, innit). Its rare that I hear a new band and instantly bond with their sound without a few test listens – but these guys delivered a filthy mix of grunge and hard rock that was impossible to resist. With quality vocals ranging from gravelly growls to proper good singing, filthy, grinding basslines, pounding riffs and the odd cheeky blue note, these boys served up a banging set that sounded like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Red Fang having a delicious orgy. Teamed with utterly fantastic hairdos across the board and a good bit of offstage clambering around (which I wholeheartedly approve of), they definitely left an impression.

By no means a sell out, the evening still pulled a pretty healthy crowd, several of whom were donning merch and mouthing lyrics, indicating that Boy Jumps Ship already have a loyal following. Something I noticed pretty early on was the diversity of the fans – there were young boys with tattoos, there were underage kids with BJS t-shirts, there were older women in full leathers – so I had no idea what to expect from the Geordie 4-piece.

Their opening song gave me an unexpected blast of nostalgia for Camden circa 2010, with riffs and chants reminiscent of the short-lived indie rock phase we all went through (you know the one, don’t pretend you weren’t doing shots on the balcony at the Hawley Arms with Razorlight like the rest of us). The sound was undoubtedly indie-influenced but with a definite heavy pop-punk streak, which became more apparent as the set continued.

By about 3 songs in, the vocal lines, catchy choruses and stage presence had gone full-on poppy punk rock, delivering sounds which were reassuringly familiar yet somehow fresh. Obvious hits like ‘Turn Up The Radio’ seem like the types of songs I can imagine providing the soundtrack for the twenty-somethings in 10 years time having an unapologetic headbang to at a local alternative club night – the way I would this weekend if we heard ‘Fat Lip’ or ‘All The Small Things’ after several pints.

With an upbeat, fun and promising sound, I reckon Boy Jumps Ship will soon have a good few anthems that we’ll be sliding onto our summer playlists.