The atmosphere inside Henry’s Cellar Bar is already hotter than an Icelandic volcano as Jump: Press A take the stage. They’re second up on one of the venue’s regular ‘Rock Chick’ nights, and the place is packed as they turn the heat up further by pouring their punk pop paraffin on the fire.
J:PA appear to take the admirable view that most things in life can be improved by adding guitars. Lots of guitars. I lose count of exactly how many, but the band’s blistering brand of ‘angry pop’ features six-strings aplenty. With drums, bass and keyboard added to the brew, their live sound is a melody-fuelled juggernaut with the accelerator rammed to the floor.
Ignoring the heat, they unleash an impressive set of gigantic tunes. Songs like Only The Brave Deserve The Fair and Bulletproof (Shot In The Head) are highlights; mighty white-hot melting pots of noise, with frontwoman Kelagh’s impressive vocals rising from the top as guitarist Lesley threatens to saw her guitar in half with a splintering display of aggressive axewomanship.
They look the part too. They’ve raided the punk rock dressing-up box, and they carry it off well: a pick and mix of hats, zips, scarves and skinny things creating a haphazardly cool onstage image – everything from bare chests and kilts (fret not, that’s the male guitarist’s get up) to stripey tops and fishnets.
By the end of their set, J:PA are threatening to self-combust – as much to do with their energetic & fiery performance as it is with the venue’s furnace-like qualities. They deserve the hot reception they receive and the encore they’re called to play.
You should jump at the chance to see these guys if you can – they’re tight, talented and know their way round a tune or two. And although places like Henry’s Cellar Bar do suit their style and attitude, it would be great to see them in a bigger venue – or at least one where the walls aren’t melting.