Alan Jukes hurt his ankle while jumping off of the stage and onto the railing lining the first row during Saint PHNX’s second song of the evening, “Shake.” “But I looked awesome,” he joked afterwards, and you have to give it to him, he did. What mattered most, though, was the reason he propelled himself upon the sold-out crowd in the first place: Saint PHNX are that committed to connecting with their crowds.
Alan and Stevie Jukes make up Saint PHNX. The brothers from Glasgow, Scotland, have known Lewis Capaldi for several years now. They are now serving as Capaldi’s opener on his current fall North American tour, which is what brought them to Brooklyn, New York, on Friday night (Oct. 11). But way back when, while playing for a different band in Capaldi’s hometown of Bathgate, the Jukes would see a young Capaldi with his a guitar opening up their local gigs. “To be in America on tour with another Scottish act is something quite special,” Alan said prior to the show.
The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter who is labelled opener or headliner. Saint PHNX treats every show the same. “Our main aim is to make people feel good and happy,” Alan said. “We always try to leave our mark wherever we play. We want to give a true representation of our music and make each set feel like a headline show. We have to be as memorable as possible to gain as many fans [as possible].”
Those at Brooklyn Steel saw that firsthand throughout Saint PHNX’s six-song set, which unfolded like so: “Death of Me,” “Shake,” “Nunchuk,” “Follow,” “Sorry,” “Mountains” and “Deadmen.”
Stevie put his full body behind his voice in each track, while Alan gave everything he had to his drums.
During “Sorry,” the duo’s most recent single, cellphone lights dotted the venue. Stevie reminded everybody to think about to whom they may need to apologise, and Alan punctuated every call with his drumsticks. It was a mixture of cognisance and surrender.
“Mountains” saw Stevie split the audience down the middle and initiate a friendly competition between his side and Alan’s, though Saint PHNX were the opposite of divisive.
Stevie told 1,800 people what Alan had said privately earlier in the day, pointing out the unbelievable nature associated with two brothers from Scotland now playing their tunes Stateside. And while it has become Capaldi’s campaign to become America’s sweetheart, Saint PHNX has a compelling case of their own.
They belonged in Brooklyn, to put it simply. Scotland, the United States of America, Canada, it doesn’t matter. Anywhere they’re on stage together, they belong. Fans came up and told them, in so many words, as the night was drawing to a close. Alan and Stevie ran their own t-shirt table as the night wound down. Fans lined up at the opportunity to compliment them face-to-face. This time, Alan didn’t have to leap toward them; they wanted to connect.
“Honestly, we are having so much fun doing music that we keep on pushing,” Alan said. “We want to become as big as we possibly can. We feel our music has a universal connection. We want to be playing stadiums across the world.”
It isn’t certain that Saint PHNX will play stadiums worldwide, sure, but it is absolutely certain that wherever it is Alan and Stevie go, the path will be organically built.