JETSTREAM PONY – INN ON THE GREEN, SHIIINE ON WEEKENDER, BUTLINS, MINEHEAD, SOMERSET 19.11.23
We’re all going on a, winter’s holiday! Yes that’s right the gig bus took me way out of town from East Sussex all the way to Minehead, Somerset for the ‘Shiiine On Weekender Festival‘ held at Butlins, a fine festival celebrating mostly the cream of the 90s indie and alternative scene. This year’s line-up did not disappoint, with acts such as The Wonders Stuff, Inspiral Carpets, The Enemy, Stereo MCs, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Mr C all headlining the various stages. But the festival is not all about those older, well known bands, there is space especially built into the line-up to showcase newer upcoming bands, those bands you may have missed or not heard of yet….and one of those bands I want to tell you about today is Jetstream Pony.
How Jetstream Pony have gone under my radar for so long is a travesty, I found them when going down the YouTube rabbit hole (as you do) searching up the bands on the line-up. Jetstream Pony sounded interesting and upon seeing some of the band are Brighton based, I felt obliged to hold off starting the relentless drinking for the day, don my pre-ordered T-shirt and get over to the Inn on the Green stage to hear them play their short but marvellous 45 minute set.
Schrammelig post punk and indie-pop is how Jetstream Pony are described on their Bandcamp page. A four piece band formed of Beth Arzy (Aberdeen, Charlie Big Time, The Fireworks, The Luxembourg Signal, Trembling Blue Stars), Kerry Boettcher (Turbocat), Shaun Charman (The Wedding Present, The Popguns, The Fireworks), and Hannes Müller. They have been putting out releases since 2017, and in most recent years on Spinout Nuggets (UK), Shelflife (US) and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten (Germany) record labels. As I said before, how on earth over these 6+ years have I missed them?
This Sunday morning a loyal following have made sure they have got up early and got to the front to catch the band play and believe me after two solid days of music and drink, Sunday lunch time is going to be a hard crowd to pull and entertain, even I am not sure if my caravan mates were too happy about being forced up and out. But who was I to worry, everyone there was in high spirits and well up for what was to come.
After a brief soundcheck singing along to ‘Wade In The Water’ which was playing at the time over the speaker system, Beth commented she “can’t hear herself with her ear pieces in”, she’ll “have ear plugs in anyhow, so don’t worry about me, whatever’s in my head will come out” Kerry then took over soundchecking her bass and microphone levels, “we’ve got it right, I think we are ready to go” rang the sound engineers voice over the PA system.
So, with the tambourine now picked up by Beth who was sporting a cool Sound is Colour Solid Bond football inspired top, introduced the band “Hello, we are Jetstream Pony, I am wondering if you guys are you feeling as fragile as I am” and the band launched straight into ‘Trapped In Amber’ taken from their 2020 album ‘Jetstream Pony’.
“When in Rome” said Beth donning a bucket hat, a nod to the many people wearing them at the festival, the band went straight into ‘Courses For Obstacles’, Beth’s gorgeous vocals melding into the avalanche of guitars, I say guitars in plural as today we also had Mark from The Treasures Of Mexico joining the band on a second guitar.
After thanking everyone and Butlins for having the band, Beth said she did almost lose her voice screaming along to Jesus Jones and The Wonder Stuff on the Friday, but she was not sorry about it if she sound a little horse as she had a great time. She was not lying, The Wonder Stuff blew the roof off the big top on Friday night. Next we had ‘Into The Sea’ the bands most recent single from September this year, kicking in with Kerry’s throbbing bass guitar.
‘It’ll Take More Than A Friday’ was next, a good proper foot stomper of a song, the continual beat of those drums really drives the track along, probably a favourite for me.
“This is a new one” announced Beth, as the band started up, ‘Sixes And Sevens’, the double a-side released in September this year. Shaun’s guitar work on this one really is a sound of beauty. The song ended with Beth holding her phone to the microphone for some haunting outro vocals.
With maracas in her hands we moved into ‘Look Alive!’ which I think might be a new one, but I am not entirely sure. Nonetheless it was a strong number that you just wanted to move to. All components in the makeup of the song are just magic and it produced a rousing cheer from the crowd.
“I’m out of whisky” exclaimed Beth as the band launched into ‘Strood McD FC’ taken from the ‘Misplaced Words’ EP.
Before the next song, Kerry broke the pace to announce “By the way, if anybody wants to buy T-shirts or records, we have contraband over there where that man wearing a T-shirt is”, Beth interjected “Oh we do have a couple of men wearing Jetstream t-shirts in today”, pointing them out, myself included proudly standing at the front in mine, hot off the press that week. This prompted jokes from a chap in the crowd saying he’d sell his as they were hard to get. Beth then thanked the crowd for not being talkers, and how she “was driven round the bend during the Wonder Stuff with talkers around her, you don’t come to a gig to chat, if you want to chat, go to Starbucks, not talking during songs, anyway, thank you for not being talkers”, this is something I could not agree with more. ‘Behind The Eyes’ was then next with Kerry this time on lead vocals, a fine bouncing song. The band all got introductions as the song came to a close. Talking of fine! The next song was ‘It’s Fine’ as Beth joked several times with the crowd giving us a stern mocking look “stop talking, stop talking”.
“This is a new one” said Beth, “Is there 10 minutes left?” 20 please shouted a hopeful from the crowd. Thus we were treated to the new song ‘Captain Palisade’, Kerry’s Fender Mustang Bass really giving some fine vibes on this one; hopefully it gets an official release soon.
“This is the one to get active” declared Beth, as the band fired into their 2020 single ‘If Not Now, When?’. And then it was time for the last song, ‘Had Enough’. Beth surprised the crowd as footballs came out of the carrier bags hidden away on stage and were then thrown around into the crowd, prompting big smiles from the band. “Play nice, don’t throw them so hard” ordered Beth as Kerry came right down off stage against the security rail to play her bass. Shaun moved around the stage with his guitar as more balls were pulled out and thrown into the crowd. As they ended, Beth laughed, “Thanks, you might not like the music, but you love the balls”.
Of course that is not true, the crowd had massively grown since they had come on stage, everyone giving a huge cheer and applause, it really was a wonderful way to start the Sunday line up.
With Beth’s dreamy vocals, Kerry’s strong bass lines, that almost shoegazing guitar sound from Shaun and Hannes solid and steady drums the band really are a match made in heaven, bringing sonic pleasure to my ears. I can see why they fit into the line-up for the ‘Shiiine Weekender’, you get that undercurrent and nod to the past of 90s indie music in their songs, but it all sounds new and fresh, just the way I like it, more people need to hear them I say, go and check out their Bandcamp page HERE and treat yourself to an album or one of their limited vinyl’s, you won’t be disappointed.
I am most glad I made sure I got to see Jetstream Pony despite my crushing hangover. I believe they played at The Hope & Ruin in August this year and I hope they play Brighton again soon. In the meantime you will be able to catch Beth Arzy (from Jetstream Pony) and Mark Mathews (from The Treasures Of Mexico) at The Hope & Ruin this coming Sunday 26th November, where they will be performing live with The Treasures Of Mexico as part of a special event that runs from 3pm to 10pm and also features The Jasmine Minks, The Claim, Danny George Wilson, and The High Span. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
Beth Arzy – vocals and percussion
Shaun Charman – guitar and vocals
Kerry Boettcher – bass and vocals
Hannes Müller – drums
Mark Mathews – guitar (from The Treasures Of Mexico)
Jetstream Pony setlist:
‘Trapped In Amber’ (from 2020 ‘Jetstream Pony’ album)
‘Courses For Obstacles’ (from 2021 ‘Misplaced Words’ EP)
‘Into The Sea’ (from 2023 ‘Sixes & Sevens’ / ‘Into The Sea’ single)
‘It’ll Take More Than A Friday’ (from 2020 ‘Jetstream Pony’ album)
‘Sixes And Sevens’ (from 2023 ‘Sixes & Sevens’ / ‘Into The Sea’ single)
‘Look Alive!’ (unknown, possibly new)
‘Strood McD FC’ (from 2021 ‘Misplaced Words’ EP)
‘Behind The Eyes’ (from 2021 ‘Misplaced Words’ EP)
‘It’s Fine’ (from 2020 ‘Jetstream Pony’ album)
‘Captain Palisade’ (New & Unreleased)
‘If Not Now, When?’ (from 2020 ‘If Not Now, When?’ / ‘Yellow Pills’ single)
‘Had Enough’ (from 2017 ‘Like You Less’ single)
Fact – Jetstream Pony is a lovely ex-racing greyhound, also known as Jenna.
Next year’s ‘Shiiine On Weekender’ will take place on 15th to 17th November. Further information can be found at www.shiiineon.com/weekender.