Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 16/01/2011 | Last Republic / My Jerusalem – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow

16/01/2011 | Last Republic / My Jerusalem – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow

Kim Clarke-Overy

Triangle

They only formed in 2008, but already the Last Republic have demonstrated that they are not just another indie band. Hailing from Wales, and hoping to follow in the footsteps of home-grown successes Stereophonics and People in Planes, the Last Republic graced the formerly dingy Captain’s Rest with a beautiful acoustic set.

They were playing to a tough crowd – the venue was half-full, populated mostly by the drunken, rowdy friends of earlier support act Mick Hargan – a Glaswegian singer-songwriter. Whilst not as spectacular as the recorded tracks on their recently released album Parade, guitarist and singer Jonnie Owen, accompanied by pianist David Llewellyn stunned with stripped-back versions of Flood the Gates and C.C.T.V. which allowed Owen’s impressive vocal abilities to shine through. The Last Republic have already gained plenty of exposure thanks to their performance at V Festival in 2009 and support from Zane Lowe. Hopefully 2011 will see them breakthrough into the mainstream.

‘Get up! We didn’t travel all this way for you to sit on your asses!’ growled My Jerusalem front-man Jake Evans through his very impressive beard. The brain-child of critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Jeff Klein, who met the other members whilst touring solo and as a member of the Twilight Singers, My Jerusalem are polished yet not over-produced, and arty enough to be different without being pretentious. They combine New Orleans-style brass with multi-layered vocals and strings on top of jaunty guitars and synths, producing a sound not dissimilar to Reel Big Fish.

Except My Jerusalem are better. He needs to work on his manner – mumbling at the crowd isn’t the best way to get them on side, yet Evans sings well and has plenty of stage presence whilst performing. It is also refreshing to see a female bassist in an indie band who seems to have her head screwed on, unlike generic indie girls such as Zooey Deschanel or Lissie. Ashley Dzerigian, formerly of Great Northern lurks at the back of the stage, mainly focusing on her bass, but provides soulful backing vocals for most of the songs.

My Jerusalem deserve to be successful. Their sound may not be entirely original, but it is fun and they are clearly dedicated to their craft. The release of upcoming album Gone For Good should secure the band the exposure they so clearly crave.

www.thelastrepublic.co.uk / www.thisismyjerusalem.com