Local band Jetstream once again took London by storm when they supported UK band Toploader at the O2 Academy in Islington.
In addition to their performance on the Main Stage Jetstream guitarist Stu Whitwell and vocalist Nolan Frendo had a 45 minute interview with BBC Radio London presenters Sunny and Shay, which was broadcast live last Friday.
The singer and guitarist also performed acoustically live on the radio show.
Bass player Justin Pou, drummer Tristan Tonna and guitarist Aaron Ignacio were also on stage at the O2 Academy.
Mr Whitwell told to the Chronicle that the “opportunity to support 90’s pop rockers Toploader came as a result of a tough year of hard work in 2018” where the band had taken Jetstream across UK, Spain and even Belgium.
“We started off the year performing in the lesser known venues as we are not an established band outside of Gibraltar,” Mr Whitwell said.
“We took that view that we had to start from the bottom and build our way up, and sure enough by the end of 2018 we had performed at the Camden Assembly a venue known for starting off the careers of Coldplay, Muse, Amy Winehouse and even headlined our own showcase night at Shoreditch’s Café 1001.”
It was through this hard work and perseverance that the band caught the eye of some concert producers and earned an invitation to perform on the main stage slot supporting Toploader at the O2 Academy.
The band were pleased that the opportunity gave them a chance to play in front of a new audience and to win over some new fans with their live show.
“Those familiar with the London music scene will recognise the O2 as a prestigious music hall home to recent performances from artists of the moment ‘Stormzy’ & ‘Greta Van Fleet’ in 2018. Good company,” said Mr Whitwell.
“Our latest music which we consider to be our best yet is also being very well received in the UK and generating interest not only for concerts but also for radio play.”
Jetstream have recently been featured on BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Lancashire, Northern Quarter Radio and even on the James Whale show.
On the night of the gig itself Mr Whitwell relayed a picture of how it felt for the band.
“From a musician’s perspective the pre-concert hours go by agonizingly slow… with nerves kicking in, unsettling the band members,” Mr Whitwell said.
“But, when the time comes, the on stage performance goes by at light speed. It is so fast that you barely have time to remember to enjoy it.”
Despite how rapid their on stage time felt, Mr Whitwell said each of the band members had a blast taking in all that the Main Stage offers such as great sound and lighting in such an excellent venue.
“It is critical for an ambitious band like us to make each and every opportunity count,” he said.
There were several bands performing ahead of Jetstream, so by the time the band took to the stage the crowd was about 300 strong “which is great for an unknown band like us.”
“Those familiar with Toploader’s sound can see why perhaps our music resonated so well with the crowd,” said Mr Whitwell.
“We are a similar age and genre of melodic rock music so the audience was a good fit for us.”
“We have certainly seen a lot of activity on our social media channels since the gig so good to know our performance and our music is generating interest.”
The band played their “best and latest tracks”.
“We had 30 mins on stage, which seems like a short set but actually is very common on a night with multiple bands. Those who’ve seen the Bohemian Rhapsody movie will remember that for Live Aid back in ’86 rock legends Queen were given just 20 minutes. But boy were those memorable,” said Mr Whitwell.
He added that Jetstream played their two latest singles that are getting a lot of airplay on social media, YouTube, Spotify etc.
“In January, we released ‘The Last Goodbye’ which we call our power ballad for the digital age. It’s an interesting blend of classic rock, brit pop guitars and modern EDM synths,” he said.
“We performed this live for the first time in UK to a great reaction. This was a real highlight for us.”
“We performed our November single the big rock track ‘Delta Blues’ which is a pulsing upbeat guitar led rock song and really gets the crowd going. In fact we got some great comments from Toploader about this song.”
The band performed their award winning track ‘Starlight’ from the Gibraltar International Song Festival 2017.
“We’ve actually been in the studio lately reworking this track for an official release in March,” he said.
“We think this is important as although the original version is available online, it was never properly released and this new version is sounding incredible.”
Although there is nothing official yet, Jetstream fans should not rule out the band supporting Toploader once again due to the connection the two groups had.
“They are a very humble bunch of guys, good company and a really talented. Watching them close up was a great lesson. We are always hungry to learn and took plenty of pointers from them,” explained Mr Whitwell.
Looking toward 2019 and beyond Mr Whitwell said: “There is a long road ahead, but its undoubtedly exciting times for Jetstream.”
“Our aim is for each year to be stronger than the last and so far as each week goes by we get bigger and better opportunities for the band so it feels like we are on the right path.”
Jetstream have already secured several UK festival dates for this summer including Lechlade Festival, Jurassic Fields Festival, Weyfest Festival with some more announcements to come.
They also have showcase concerts in Madrid, Toledo and Estepona lined up.
“We hope to perform further afield this year too, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh on our list as well as Germany and Portugal,” said Mr Whitwell.
The band is back in the studio working on more new material which they hope to release later this year.
“Bit by bit we are building our profile outside of Gibraltar and getting noticed,” he said.
“Some challenges ahead no doubt with Brexit, but that’s not going to dampen our spirits.”
To follow Jetstream’s progress take a look at their website www.jetstreamofficial.com.
Pics by Eye Candy Photography