Friday, 7 September 2012

Music: The Twang @ LMSU, Leeds, May 14th 2007 live review

For a band about to release their second single to be playing a headline set at the Leeds Met is no small feat. With the hype machine of the NME and Radio One shouting The Twang's praises, it is difficult not to lose sight of what is important - namely the music.

For those of you who've managed to miss out on the hype surrounding The Twang, they are Midlands-based indie band. Unlike much modern indie, which can, to some extent, be characterised by a certain penchant towards post-punk or 80s electro, The Twang's music has a definite feel of early 90s Baggy. The Twang are comfortable with melodic indie records that sound a little bit like a Brummy Happy Mondays with Achtung Baby era U2's Edge on lead guitar.

I have to say that this is not the first time that I've seen The Twang play, having seen then them a few months back at The Faversham and they were impressive then. The Twang really do live up to the hype; with catchy melodies, witty lyrics and genuine humbleness towards the crowd, it is hard not to be taken in by their charm.

The set kicked off with The Neighbour which is the best song they could have chosen to open with - a great energetic song to get the crowd going. By the end of the second track of the evening, you could tell the crowd were won over by the chants of 'Yorkshire, Yorkshire.' At this point, the frontman shared an anecdote with the crowd, informing us that when they supported the Kaiser Chiefs in Doncaster, the crowd chanted 'Yorkshire' and they the thought the crowd were chanting 'you're shit'! The songs continue, 'Ice Cream' being a particularly strong track, with its swirling guitar loop and funky bass line. Everywhere I looked, people were dancing and smiling - it's great when a band can have such a positive effect on a crowd. A few songs later they played 'Push the Ghosts,' with a middle section lifted straight from Salt 'n' Pepa's 'Push It'. I'm not sure whether this will appear on the actually record, but it was a nice touch live. The final song was introduced and it seemed to be the song that everyone was waiting to hear, namely 'Wide Awake.' Though many would probably disagree with me, this song isn't as strong a song as some of the tunes that came earlier in the set, but when everyone's singing along, it doesn't matter. But what's this, an encore! They play two more tunes, the last song of the night 'Cloudy' being a great dancy instrumental track that got the whole room bouncing. The track built up going faster and faster, the guitarist almost unable to keep up with the speed of the guitar riff; move over Van Halen!

My only complaint about the set was that I felt that the bass was a little too low in the mix, but it improved on The Faversham experience mainly due to the fact I wasn't forced to stand with a pillar between me and the stage and settle with watching the tops of the front row's heads on their grainy CCTV feeds.

It would seem that The Twang have lived up to the hype. I've not been this impressed by a new band since I first saw The Music. I hope that unlike The Music, The Twang manage to capture the energy of their live performances in the album.

This article was originally published on Leeds Music Scene in 2007.

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