Mark Kermode on BBC Radio 5 Live’s flagship film show has a belief that the more fun a movie is to make, the less fun it is for the audience who has to watch it at the end of the day. I have the belief that the complete opposite is true when it comes to watching live musicians perform: the more fun they’re having usually translates to more fun for their audience. This is a belief that has been infinitely re-affirmed after seeing Melina Duterte aka Jay Som, and her band perform at the Sebright Arms on Wednesday night.

This sold-out London stop comes at the end of a European jaunt in support of Jay Som’s proper debut album Everybody Works. This brief tour also included a 2 night stay in an airport, the news of which was met with loud, sympathetic groans when they revealed that the airport in question was Stansted. This kind of bonhomie and familiarity between the performers and their audience was cultivated easily and quickly by the band, as from the very first strums they were clearly enjoying themselves; messing around with over the top rock poses for the audience, laughing at the mis-timed drum intro, singing with the audience happy birthday to the guitarist, but most of all just all working on the same wavelength to bring these songs to life.

Despite Everybody Works being the most recent release, and a breakthrough for Jay Som, the band started with a couple of older tracks from her Turn Into release. The story goes that Duterte just uploaded a bunch of home-recorded tracks to Bandcamp when she was drunk. Seeing the couplet of ‘Turn Into’ and ‘Ghost’ open up the show on this occasion, it’s safe to say they have come a long way since that night. Both were almost unrecognisable in their new, muscular live iterations, with each member of the foursome throwing themselves into the performance, creating something much bigger and more electrifying than those recorded versions. Later in the set, they lowered the intensity for ‘Unlimited Touch’ before combining ‘SLOW’ and ‘Our Red Door’ into a gargantuan rock song.

The set of course also drew from Everybody Works, but not just the ‘hits’. Their performances of the shape-shifting title track and the ambitious ‘One More Time, Please’ proved that the intelligence of Duterte’s songwriting can be translated brilliantly to the live setting. 'Baybee' had the whole crowd rising and falling with its sultry emotional heft. ‘1 Billion Dogs’ snuck up into a full-on punk rock attack, ousting the crowd from the soft dream-pop pillow the band had been cultivating for the majority of the set.

In a set full of highlights, the best moments were the singalongs, where the joy could be heard and not just felt. The entire crowd jumping in on the “But I like the bus!” line on ‘The Bus Song’ left Duterte beaming, and the slow swaying almost hymnal crowd involvement on set closing ‘I Think You’re Alright’ capped things off perfectly.

Jay Som will now head back to the States to continue touring, and their camaraderie and stage presence, which is already considerably great for a young band, will only increase. Before long they’ll be playing much bigger stages than the Sebright Arms – they’re already performing like they are.

Jay Som Setlist