Everyone likes to say “I was there at the beginning”, whether at The Libertines infamous house party gigs or at the Foo Fighters last minute gig at Camden Underworld in 2006. The truth is that most of us read about it in NME or saw The Libertines minus Pete at Reading in 2004 or 2010 for the ‘money gigs’. Well last night this writer could have well have witnessed one of those ‘special’ musical moments, with the debut for grungey four piece DumbJaw at the Camden Barfly.
DumbJaw are a hard hitting four piece fronted by the diminutive figure of Lee Verralls with his fender mustang, long blondish hair and beard. Blink for a second and you could easily think you were staring at the ghost of Kurt Cobain. As the band took to the stage there was clear sense of anticipation from the crowd and from the band. In Lee’s words he was “bricking it”. It certainly didn’t show as they kicked off their set. From the outset the furious drumming of Jamie Oliver was brilliantly offset by the bass work from Jimmy Woodford and the twin guitar work of Lee Verralls and Dave Page.
As the Camden rock scene looked on it was hard to believe this was their debut gig. Throughout the gig the vocals of Verralls were rasping but clear cutting through the flurry of distorted guitars, powerful drums and driving bass. As the set progressed the confidence of the band grew and they were clearly enjoying themselves. Verralls is a bundle of energy it was plain to see he enjoys playing with his bandmates. DumbJaw’s sound is hard to place; on their Facebook page they describe themselves as a “mangled wreckage of alternative rock”. This wreckage is comprised Nirvana, Foo Fighters with a dash of the Pixies wedged in. As DumbJaw wrapped up the gig they were pleads from the crowd for more and lots of approving nods and chatter about this exciting new prospect on the alternative rock scene.
I have no doubt a meteoritic rise awaits DumbJaw as part of the UK grunge scene which has spawned the likes of Dinosaur Pile Up and Japanese Voyeurs in recent times. At that point this writer will be happily telling anyone who will listen “I was there”.
You can connect with DumbJaw on Twitter @dumbjawuk