Music Review of We Were Promised Jetpacks at La Belle Angele
27 September 2022
Edinburgh’s acclaimed We Were Promised Jetpacks were currently working their way round the UK and Europe on a 14-date tour and ‘came home’ in September to play this gig to a spirited and hyped crowd at La Belle Angele.
With Edinburgh being one of only two Scottish dates on this run, it was evident that those in attendance were anticipating great things from the evening. They were not to be disappointed as Jetpacks called on their entire back catalogue to deliver hit after hit during the near 90-minute set.
Rising from the ashes
Like the band, La Belle Angele is an Edinburgh institution. Located in the Cowgate area of the city, close to more of Edinburgh’s music venues including The Caves, Sneaky Pete’s and the Mash House, La Belle has been celebrating and promoting music and clubbing culture in the capital since the 90s.
Bands and artists such as Oasis, Jeff Buckley, The Libertines and Radiohead played at La Belle on their journey to success but in 2002 the venue was sadly destroyed in a devastating fire.
A huge loss to the city at the time, it was eventually and thankfully rebuilt and reopened in 2014 with an increased capacity to welcome back the gig and club goers who had endured the decade without it.
Since reopening, it has played host to an array of artists spanning different genres from Lewis Capaldi, Parquet Courts, Bicep, DMAs and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to name a few.
A year after that tragic fire, a group of young men from the capital formed the brilliantly named We Were Promised Jetpacks, a band that would go on to release five studio albums and become a revered Scottish indie rock outfit.
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Opening with the hugely energetic ‘Circles and Squares’ from 2011s ‘In the Pit of the Stomach’, it was immediately apparent just how up for this hometown gig the band were, feeding off the energy of the crowd.
There was an early outing for three consecutive songs - ‘Fat Chance’, ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears’ and ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ - from last year’s ‘Enjoy the View’ album, which were well received by the audience with the last of the three continuing to set the pace and tone of the setlist.
The low ceilings of the venue created an incredible atmosphere when the crowd were in full voice for fan-favourite ‘Peaks and Troughs’.
But it was during ‘Keeping Warm’, ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ and, in particular, ‘Quiet Little Voices’, all from the 2009 debut album ‘These Four Walls’, where the intimate nature of La Belle really came into its own.
It genuinely felt as if the band found another level as the crowd didn’t miss a beat, singing along every single word in unison - a real “I was there moment” for the 500-strong audience.
This was a paid review, written by Stuart Niven for Forever Edinburgh and in partnership with Edinburgh Music Lovers.
Find out more about We Were Promised Jetpacks on their website