Mystery Jets

Biography

All the best bands create their own universe. Few, however, create one as strange and bewitching as the Mystery Jets. Based on Eel Pie Island, the Bohemian stronghold in the middle of the Thames at Twickenham, the Mystery Jets embody British pop at its most invigoratingly weird. Already, previous singles Zoo Time, You Cant Fool Me Dennis, On My Feet and Alas Agnes have seemed like dispatches from some starry-eyed parallel universe. A universe where Syd Barrett never dropped out but played on with Einzurstende Neubauten, where the irresistible pop of Dexys can happily co-exist with the Krautrock explorations of Can, and where the most forbidding musical forms of the past, like prog rock, are gleefully reinvented in the smash-and-grab spirit of the present.

Now those dispatches have given way to a full-on, widescreen statement ,the Mystery Jets debut album Making Dens. Recorded with producer and fellow musical visionary James Ford, its guaranteed to add a technicolor new dimension to Britains thriving young rock n roll scene. Songs like Purple Prose, Alas Agnes and the climactic Making Dens take you on a psychedelic head-trip through joy, misery and the full spectrum of emotions in between. On A Trembling Day combines lyrical imagery from Van Goghs final paintings with music so intense its like youre in the artists own despairing mind. Soluble In Air, recorded in the Eel Pie Island boat yard, site of Mystery Jets gigs legendary for fan hysteria and circus-style bizarreness, weaves together church bells and choral harmonies into a star-surfing fantastia, which is nonetheless utterly English. Comparisons are odious, but if this album doesnâ¤(TM)t do for British music what the Arcade Fire did for America (and more), then well eat Syd Barretts mandrax-infused hair gel.

Mystery Jets are Will Rees,20, Kai Fish, 21, Kapil Trivedi, 20, Blaine Harrison ,20, and his father Henry Harrison, slightly older. Will and Blaine met at nursery school at the age of four. Kaiâ¤(TM)s parents lived with Blaines parents in a commune in the Seventies we used to share hash cookies together, notes Henry, a former architect). When Will went to boarding school and Blaine moved to France with his mother, the pair used to communicate via postcards which were, says Blaine, the early stages of the band. We used to do drawings of all the different line-ups. Henry was always in the band.

Their original name was The Misery Jets, which was taken from an Evening Standard headline (Eel Pie Island is under the Heathrow flight path, a plane used to go over every 50 seconds), changed to Mystery Jets when Blaine accidentally misspelled the name while painting it on a drum skin. Kai joined the band at the age of 12 after suggesting that they needed a bassist (he played the cello). Kai basically took over the band and started driving it,jokes Will. He got us the gigs, booked us a tour, got us groupies, like heres your groupie, taught me to smoke my first cigarette�. I couldnt play the bass, admits Kai. What I love is that I learnt in the band. I wouldnt play the bass in another band, Id be the front man. It suits my personality more, but this band is a different thing. Its a world, and everyone puts as much as they can into it and the result is what comes out in the music.

The band would practice in the boat shed built by Henry on land he bought after a hippy commune on the island burnt down. The final member to join was Kapil, whose background wasnt the Bohemia of Eel Pie Island but the rather less arty Wembley, North London. A virtuoso drummer, champion breakdancer and the Mystery Jets most ebullient performer, he found out about the band through his drum teacher. Even at that age, 17,we couldnt believe how good a drummer he was, says Kai. We all had to raise our games to be in the same league as Kaps.

Their most formative influence, however, was Henrys record collection, which Kai, Blaine and Will devoured along with Mojo magazine, whose long stories on the lost heroes of prog and psych would fascinate the nascent Jets. Perhaps the primo Mystery Jets hero is the aforementioned Syd Barrett, whose Mick Rock portrait hangs in the Mystery Jets boat yard rehearsal studio, ringed by a lifebelt. He embodies an attitude that we feel a kinship with, explains Will. That kind of innocence. Syd Barrett, however, never had his dad in the band. Henry has been here since day one, since before day one, explains Blaine. The whole crazy thing was really his idea.

I was in a band when I was at school, elaborates Henry. The other guys in the band were brilliant but I went off to study architecture. My regret at doing that is why Ive pursued this with such relentless force. As for what people think about me being in the band, I can only go on what happens live which is generally incredibly positive. Henrys age doesnt even make him the de facto authority figure now the band have management and a record company (679). Im just another member, he says happily. Im one of five. I love it. That whole authority thing served a purpose and when it was done I was glad to relinquish it, because it got in the way of us working properly together. Now if they disagree with me they just swear profusely. What the fuck do you mean? retorts Blaine.

Though the band are emphatically not art rock, there are dimensions to them beyond the mere musical. Kai makes films (including three videos for the band). Will, Blaine and Henry, the first two of which went to Camberwell art school like Eno, Freddie Mercury and Syd before them â¤" do the artwork. Then there are the live performances which have already gone down in history. While a noise abatement order no longer allows them to play gigs in the Eel Pie Island boatyard on pain of a £20,000 fine, at the end of 2005 they took the Island on the road, with a tour named the Eel Pie Revue. It took in 16 support acts over 27 dates, many of whom played the original Eel Pie parties. You know Bob Dylans tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue? asks Blaine. I just love the way he named it and gave it a direction. If youre going to trek out across England its important to christen it and make it a moment in time.

Over the past year, the Mystery Jets kaleidoscopic vision has drifted down the Thames and into the hearts and minds of critics and fans alike. 2006 will see ever greater numbers recruited into their all-singing, all-breakdancing, all-kitchen utensil-banging army. We want to communicate, says Will, but in a way that isnt superficial. In a way that can make a difference to peoples lives. If weve got any concern its about whether people will get it, says Henry. Because we dont compromise, we do exactly what we want to do, and if people dont get it its a terrible shame. Well, not everyone will get a band who combine lysergic post-punk with all out prog, or whose compulsive creativity leave some songs (at time of writing) with 128 separate instrumental parts. But for those who do get it, their lives will be enriched forever. As a great man once advised, set the controls for the heart of the sun.

Read More

Transgressive Announce Anniversary Show At The Barbican September 2014 - Acts Playing Include Mystery Jets, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit And Marika Hackman

4th June 2014 -

 Press

Following a triumphant, one-in-one-out showcase at The Great Escape, and yesterday's news that they will be partnering with Latitude Festival where they host a stage, Transgressive is today proud to announce a 10th Anniversary event...

Mystery Jets - Interview - Live at the Lewes Stopover 2013

7th August 2013 -

 Video

Mystery Jets talk about their gentlemanly moustaches and attracting older women while Mumford and Sons praise the band's music and discuss working with them at the Lewes, East Sussex leg of their 2013 Gentlemen of...

Introducing Ringmaster Festival! Maximo Park, Mystery Jets, Swim Deep and Chloe Howl amongst others to play September 2013

11th June 2013 -

 Press

As the festival season draws to a close, September 28th 2013 will see the first Ringmaster Festival take place on the Whitbourne Estate in Worcestershire for an explosion of music and food meets a vintage...

Blissfields Festival 2013, Headline Acts Announced! Bastille And Mystery Jets

5th February 2013 -

 Press

Blissfields Festival is pleased to unveil its headline acts for 2013. Under the banner 'The Director's Cut', the award winning Hampshire festival will be celebrating all things film in its 13th year, from the early...

A Week in Music - September 24, 2012

24th September 2012 -

 Review

This week, we have a new video from The Spinto Band. The five-piece from Delaware return with 'Muesli,' the latest release from their 2012 album Shy Pursuit. The song has a retro-tropical feel and http://www.contactmusic.com/video/the-spinto-band-muesli-2"...

Mystery Jets - Radlands (Acoustic Live)

19th September 2012 -

 Video

Mystery Jets play live at the Peak Cavern (informally known as the Devil's Arse) in the Peak District village of Castleton as part of events celebrating Jack Daniel's Birthday. They perform the title song from...

Mystery Jets - Radlands

4th May 2012 -

 Review

One look at the front cover of South London's Mystery Jets leaves you thinking "oh God, they've made a country album!" Alas, it's not all Billy Ray Cyrus, so it should hopefully not be leaving...

Kai Fish Leaves Mystery Jets

3rd April 2012 -

 News

Mystery Jets bass player Kai Fish has quit the band to front a new project.The young rocker released a solo album last year (11) and recently told the Nme that he had considered leaving the...

Mystery Jets - Serotonin

21st July 2010 -

 Review

The Mystery Jets releasing their third album on as many labels, surely makes them some kind of indie nomads, no? The band have never sold many records in truth, its worth noting that their debut...

Mystery Jets - Dreaming Of Another World

8th July 2010 -

 Video

Each time Mystery Jets release an album they seem to have reinvented themselves and brought a new lease of life to their music and their new album is no exception to the rule. Dreaming Of...

Mystery Jets Two Doors Down

20th October 2008 -

 Video

Mystery Jets - Half In Love With Elizabeth

13th August 2008 -

 Video

Video for 'Half In Love With Elizabeth' from Mystery Jets. 679 Recordings release Mystery Jets new single 'Half In Love With Elizabeth' on August 25th 2008 on CD and 7". Mystery Jets last single 'Two...

Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down

2nd May 2008 -

 Video

Mystery JetsTwo Doors DownVideoMystery Jets release 'Two Doors Down' on June 2nd 2008, it's taken from their new album 'Twenty One' Mystery Jets continue to grace us with such sublime, joyous and good old fashioned...

Mystery Jets - Young Love

11th March 2008 -

 Video

Mystery JetsYoung Love Featuring Laura MarlingVideoMystery Jets release their new single 'Young Love' featuring Laura Marling on March 10th through 679 recordings. 'Young Love' is a sparing between the male and female points of view...

Mystery Jets - Diamonds in the Dark

11th September 2006 -

 Review

Mystery JetsDiamonds in the DarkSingle ReviewI wonder if lead vocalist Blaine Harrison has a crap time on the road, you surely can't live a proper rock and roll lifestyle if your dad is in your...

Mystery Jets, Diamonds In The Dark, Video Stream

15th August 2006 -

 Video

Mystery Jets Diamonds In The Dark Video StreamMystery Jets release a new EP 'Diamonds In The Dark' through 679 Recordings on September 4th 2006. The title track which originally appears on the bands debut album,...

Mystery Jets, You Can't Fool Me Dennis, Video Stream

17th May 2006 -

 Video

Mystery Jets You Can't Fool Me Dennis Video StreamMystery Jets release a new single 'You Can't Fool Me Dennis' through 679 Recordings on 15th May 2006. The single will be a double A side released...

Mystery Jets - You Can't Fool Me Dennis

20th April 2006 -

 Review

Mystery Jets You Can't Fool Me Dennis Single ReviewNME Shockwaves tour certainly does have some cracking up and coming bands. In the case of the Mystery Jets the trend carries on, after being on this...

Mystery Jets, The Boy Who Ran Away, Video Stream

6th February 2006 -

 Video

Mystery Jets Single – The Boy Who Ran Away – 27th Feb 2006 Mystery Jets release their first single of 2006, The Boy Who Ran Away through 679 Recordings on 27th Feb 2006. The band...

Mystery Jets, Alas Agnes, Video Stream

15th November 2005 -

 Video

Mystery Jets Single: Alas Agnes - 5th December November & December 'Eel Pie Revue' Tour Mystery Jets release their fourth single Alas Agnes through 679 Recordings on 5th December 2005. The single will be released...

Back to top

Mystery Jets Images

More Mystery Jets Pictures

Back to top

Mystery Jets Interviews

Mystery Jets, Video Interview

6th September 2006

Mystery JetsVideo InterviewTheir album, Making Dens, was released in March this year, before that point...

Back to top

Mystery Jets Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Mystery Jets

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer

Anastasia Steele is a shy college student who is forced to interview an enigmatic entrepreneur named Christian...

Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer

Oscar Tipped Al Pacino Movie 'Manglehorn' Set for Venice Film Festival

David Gordon Green's Manglehorn - a drama featuring a promising...

Oscar Tipped Al Pacino Movie 'Manglehorn' Set for Venice Film Festival

Zack Snyder Tweets Batman/Star Wars Crossover Picture at Comic-Con 2014

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Synder sent the...

Zack Snyder Tweets Batman/Star Wars Crossover Picture at Comic-Con 2014

'Pirates of The Caribbean 5' Is Coming in 2017 - Whether You Like it or Not

Disney has confirmed that Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No...

'Pirates of The Caribbean 5' Is Coming in 2017 - Whether You Like it or Not

Pharrell Williams Ft. Miley Cyrus - Come Get It Bae Video

Pharrell Williams teams up with Miley Cyrus in the dance frenzy that is his video for...

Pharrell Williams - Come Get It Bae Video

Best Actor? Can Benedict Cumberbatch See Off Oscars Competition?

Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting career seems unstoppable...

Best Actor? Can Benedict Cumberbatch See Off Oscars Competition?
Advertisement

Let Battle Commence: Superhero Studios Fight for Best Opening Weekend

We live in a movie world of superheroes at the moment with franchise...

Let Battle Commence: Superhero Studios Fight for Best Opening Weekend

After The Success of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', What's Next?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has been a huge success both critically...

After The Success of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', What's Next?

'Mad Max: Fury Road' - New Stills and Poster Appear From Comic Con [Pictures]

Max Max: Fury Road was one of the most anticipated films at the...

'Mad Max: Fury Road' - New Stills and Poster Appear From Comic Con [Pictures]


More recommendations

Comments