Signed to the brilliant Alcopop! Records, it is with great sadness that this Tuesday (11 December) sees Jumping Ships play their farewell show at The Prince Albert in their hometown of Brighton. As the band move on to pastures new, we thought we should celebrate their all-too-brief career. Spectral Nights first saw them play upstairs at the Pav Tav in Brighton during The Great Escape a few years back, and their gigs and festival appearances since have seen them further establish their reputation as a great rock band. They even headlined my first, and so far only, foray into gig promoting – finishing off a great night with Spring Offensive, Daniel G. Harmann and a special covers set from Our Lost Infantry at the Aldershot West End Centre in June 2011. With boundless energy and enthusiasm, the band would give it everything at every gig as they toured across the country, often with other brilliant bands in tow including Lightguides and Gunning For Tamar. The photo below, taken during their set in the Edge of the Wedge at Southseafest 2011, captures a glimpse of the excitement at a Ships live show.
Jumping Ships’ poppier moments had a touch of Tellison but it was stirred in with a mixture of riffs and melody that at times recall Hundred Reasons, The Xcerts and early Biffy. We can be thankful the band have left us with two stunning EPs (‘Standard Bearer’ and ‘Orientation’) that will still stay firmly rooted on any fan’s iPod. They both had the perfect mixture of alternative rock and pop hits – ‘Heart and Hope’ had to be one of the best songs of 2011, while ‘The Whole Truth’ was a stupendous pop-rock song that was instantly left you feeling like you were on an extreme caffeine high. With the new material aired at festivals this year hinting at a heavier direction, with frontman Michael Williams channelling the spirit of Reuben’s Jamie Lenman more than ever before, it’s a crying shame we’ll never get to hear a full-length album from Jumping Ships, but we should be thankful for the music that they did create. We wish all the band members the best of luck in the future and await their future musical endeavours with great interest.
They even left us with an awesome goodbye single, ‘Cut the Cold Out’: