Plugging into the Music that Matters

Irish Rail & We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Somewhere, Ireland 05/12/2019

Celebrating ten years of their debut album, We Were Promised Jetpacks came to Dublin to play These Four Walls in it’s entirety. We sent one of our writers up from Cork to catch the show. This was their journey to The Workman’s Club.

Words by Jack Squibb

We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Workman’s Club, Dublin &  Irish Rail
A night of two halves, We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Workman’s Club, Dublin & Irish Rail.

Arriving at Cork’s Kent Station just after missing the 16:25 train by ten minutes set a good tone for the evening about to unfold. These Four Walls on repeat to keep the spirits up, cutting it fine to make doors at The Workman’s, expecting to arrive into Heuston Station for 19:55 according to the timetable.

Pulling into Mallow, everything running smooth, no cause for concern. Then shortly after, the train came to a halt and made an unexpected stop at Charleville. Over the tannoy, our MC for the evening DJ Lack of Information, also known as conductor informs the passengers we’re set to be stuck for up to an hour due to a train breaking down between Limerick and Thurles.

Up to an hour…

Our MC emerged about an hour later to a rowdy crowd explaining to his adoring fans that we’ll be moving in about 20 minutes. At this time Plants and Animals were on stage. We Were Promised Jetpacks were waiting with bated breath in their dressing room, along with fans wishing Irish Rail would pick up pace and get Jack to Dublin.

The clock ticking, riots close to erupting in carriage D as the complimentary “we’re sorry” muffins ran low, trade deals for phone chargers between carriage B and C were taking place. Meanwhile, the upper class in carriage A sipped champagne and huffed as they regretted not taking the private jet. “Rediscover the joy of the train” reads the promotional poster at the end of the carriage.

Rediscover the joy of the train - Irish Rail
“Honestly, the lukewarm tea and stale muffins are free!”, she said to her friends while stranded in Charleville.

The clock continued to tick, we continued to remain stuck. As the band celebrated their debut album in full, it was a good tracker to know how much was going to be missed and urging the driver to get us to the capital before 11 PM. Insert easy pun about a jetpack being quicker than a train.

Message about WWPJ stage times
A glimmer of hope.
Texts confirming that the band had come on stage.
Texts confirming that the band had come on stage.

Passengers were urged back onto the train and finally after around an hour and a half, the train began to move. Cue ‘Moving Clocks Run So Slow’ in the headphones.

Then the worst happened as a text came through from the girlfriend, who was discovering the band for the first time, confirming the worst: “They’ve just started… don’t know the name but first song was “your body was black and blue…”.

The train rumbled through, the anxious conductor asking passengers if they were heading on to Dublin Airport, while at least an hour away. I think to myself, “no but I’m meant to be holding a pint and making progress on developing tinnitus via loud music”. Don’t think he’d have understood my concern though.

Irish Rail promotional poster
An angst-ridden mother listens as little Johnny exclaims “mummy, there’s our plane!” An hour after our train should have arrived at Heuston Station.

Our arrival at Portlaoise brought the latest update, “something’s happened in the attic, the one from your playlist.” Well shit, they’re over halfway through the album, not looking good. “There’s no way I am making it up there…” I paraphrased in my head.

Five hours since departing from Cork, the train finally pulled into Heuston Station at around 22:20 with 40 minutes left in the set.

Adnan Ali Syed, Free Now only allowed me to give you five stars but to weave through the Dublin streets the way you did, I’d have given you more if I could have.

Pushing through the sold out crowd, the band just struck the last chords of ‘Safety in Numbers’. Before I know it, I’m being patted on the back and getting handshakes, “Jack! You made it!” a group of lads shout out. Then frontman Adam Thompson throws a curveball my way:

”I don’t know if you’re here Jack Squibb but that’s for you”. That explained the warm welcome. And to the guy who apparently claimed they were Jack Squibb just before my arrival, I would have gladly swapped places with you.

The aptly named ‘Hanging In’ began and put an end to a low-budget reenactment of an episode of 24, just with less explosions and more anxiety.

We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Workman’s Club, Dublin 05/12/2019
We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Workman’s Club, Dublin 05/12/2019

The remaining songs of the night soared through The Workman’s Club. ‘Boy In The Backseat’ left ears ringing with the intense rolling drums and roaring guitars shaking the foundations of the venue.

The heat causing condensation to drip down from the ceiling as the crowd thrashed around during the high tempo ‘Repeating Patterns’. The night concluded in stunning fashion with the poetic and tense ‘Pear Tree’.

Adam Thompson of We Were Promised Jetpacks with Jack Squibb
“And then they said it could be another hour…” Jack bemoaned, as part-time agony aunt, full-time musician, Adam Thompson listened on post-gig.

Ten years of We Were Promised Jetpacks, it thoroughly deserved to be celebrated. From the raw, finding your place in the world These Four Walls, to the slick and self-reflecting The More I Sleep The Less I Dream, it’s ten years of quality music.

Here’s to the next ten, maybe for the next celebration I’ll take the bus.

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