A young band with an old soul for rock and roll.
Placing close second to Spanish band Full Colour Panda at the Rock on the Rock’s Battle of the Bands 2018, Brit pop-rock quartet Jacver’s invigorating captivation of the stage reflects their tenure as a band – but it’s only been two years since they formed it.
Jacver is made up of four talented musicians: Harry Dennis (vocals), Ollie Doyle (drums), Daniel Ghio (bass) and Augusto Martinez (lead guitar). Their repertoire expands to over thirty songs, focusing on different angles of teenage (and young adult) love and loss – but never forgetting wider contemporary issues as in “Taken by the Gun”, a tribute to the victims of the Orlando school shooting.
The way the band was formed is spoken of fondly – imagine the forming of Oasis but without the bloodline. Harry begins: “Ollie and I live on the same street, and were in school and college together, where we formed several cover bands and called ourselves awkward names like ‘Urban Ground’, ‘With No Reason’, or ‘Catastrophe Owls’. We went on a classic hiatus and reformed as Jacver, a name I plucked from a French saying about music and poetry.
I liked the ring to it, and we liked the idea of having a one-word named band even more. Soon we realised that only having drums and a guitar wasn’t enough for our music, so we auditioned for two more musicians.”
Another elementary school friend who had previously played with Harry at a college concert, Augusto Martinez, was inducted as lead guitarist, and Daniel Ghio, the bassist of Dead City Radio. “Of course I still play with Dead City Radio,” says Daniel, who rose to fame a decade ago with power trio Orange Peel and their cinematic video for “Little Creature”, before moving on to Karma 13. “Jacver actually opened for Dead City Radio at a Lord Nelson’s gig. I didn’t realise how different the two bands’ styles were until we went to a record studio in Seville and I was told to fine-tune my hard rock style to the pop-rock arrangements. I am glad to play for both, so I can musically express my ‘two faces’,” shares Daniel.
Jacver describe themselves as a Brit pop-rock band with a unique edge, “…though it may sound pretentious,” Harry notes. They are significantly influenced by Nineties and Noughties music, referencing the famous Gallagher brothers (including post-split), MUSE, Kaiser Chiefs, Nothing But Thieves, The 1975 and Catfish and the Bottlemen. This variety is most evident in one of their best works, “Rogue” where the multi-faceted rock-star edge to Harry’s voice is given free rein. Their flagship song for the Battle of the Bands was new release “Far From The Lights”, which tells the story of a washed-out rock star who looks at where his life went wrong, and begins the journey of acceptance. Perhaps a psychic moment for the singer, beckoning his hope that “the audience will still pay attention to the lyrics.”
Their second entry was Oh We’ll Be Ok, a unique ballad with a piano intro. “This is unusual for us, since our songs are pretty much guitar-based,” Harry admits. Each musician is loyal to their instrument, but isn’t afraid of exploration. Ollie started his drummer career when he was given a drum kit in his early teenage years, and knew that to come out of his shell he could form a band with Harry as a cheeky way to meet new people and, of course, girls.
“We sang for ourselves at first, but we soon realised how nice it would be to actually perform in front of audience,” he says. This is where the confidence and daring nature of the band began: “The band feeds from the audience and vice versa,” Harry elaborates. “We are egged on by their participation, because as soon as we display the initial enthusiasm, showing the audience we’re having fun, they can too.”
But their fun doesn’t stop on stage. Visuals are an incredibly important part to Jacver’s creativity, exploring the delivery of records and the emotional journey through music videos. Set in the snowy surroundings of the Sierra Nevada (“Something Like That”) or in the wilderness of the Alcornocales National Park (“Begin Again”), or against a graffitied backdrop (“Rogue”), the natural environments often make the listener pensive and entranced, enhancing audience experience.
Jacver’s newest sets feature songs like “Vixen” (“about a mature woman I found attractive,” reveals Harry), “Well I’m Glad You’re Doing Fine Without Me”, “Seems Like Yesterday” and “Book Full of Tales”. It seems like there will only be many more tales to come.
Jacver is on Amazon Music, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube. and YouTube, where you can watch their videos, but you will soon catch the boys playing the winter pub circuit.