Straightjacket Fits were back in town for three nights. Along with Bailter Space, they were my pick of the Flying Nun bands. I caught the end of the Double Happys when I was about 14, when trawling though my best friend H’s brothers’ records. We loved it, until we left his Needles And Plastic EP on the turntable one sunny afternoon, warping it beyond recognition (of course, it’s really rare now. Sorry about that, chief!). Cue WWIII and all vinyl privileges revoked until further notice. But I digress.
SJF were it when I was at uni. If you wanted to show off to girls, and let everyone know you were achingly hip but still knew how to rock out, then you chucked on ‘She Speeds’ at the height of the party (or maybe ‘Slow Sad Love Song’). The bonus was that when you wanted to show you had a sensitive side, SJF were there with ‘Sparkle That Shines’ and later, ‘Down in splendor’. Youthful enthusiam is a wonderful thing, and I recall every week there was a band coming out that made you ring your mates and gush “Ohmygodohmygod they’re the best, best, best band in the world ever“, but SJF were The Kings. They walked the line between balls out rock and roll at concord-taking-off-volume for the early 90’s cardigan wearing set, and some fantastic jangle pop with aplomb.
Which is what I missed on Saturday Night. OK, Andrew Brough declined to do this reunion tour, but to me, SJF was always more than the Shayne Carter show. I really enjoyed the non – Blow songs on the night, with the highlights being Bad Note For a Heart (which I sang along to, eyes closed, in bliss. Glad no-one got a photo of that), and of course, She Speeds, which came complete with some extra little bars inserted to heighten audience tension before launching into the chorus. So nostalgia all around, especially as I went to Studio with some of the same friends who I went to the 1992ish Hillcrest SJF show with.
Who’s next? I’d love to see JPSE again.