Twin Atlantic – KOKO London
Where: Camden Town, London
A snippet of a recent blog entry by Craig Kneale (drummer of Twin Atlantic) about a gig in 2008:
“I remember our first time in Northampton when we played in front of a crowd comprised of two girls [...] It felt more intimidating than if there had been a guy with a big knife standing in front of us, smiling.”
...I was one of those two girls (cringe). Twin Atlantic’s London dates and this one Northampton show have always been brilliantly - if not painfully - awkward. Fast-forward four years, two albums and a lot of Radio 1 support, Twin Atlantic have sold out KOKO. Whodathunkit?!
First band on for this Beast of a Tour show was ME (not actually me, it’s a band...) who sound like a Muse tribute act by The Hoosiers dressed as Panic! at the Disco. There is a reason The Hoosiers have not actually done this - it sounds horrific. Instrumentally they’re pretty catchy – the riffs in 'Like A Fox' are ace. It’s the vocals I can’t deal with. That, and the bassist’s fringe. Look, clearly it is a hindrance as you’ve spent the entire set flicking it out of the way, so CUT IT OFF, it’s distracting watching you twitch like that. So, my ears patiently waited for Lower Than Atlantis to save them, and that they certainly did. Usually audiences are slightly morose with support bands - not this time. Opening with 'If The World Was To End' Mike Duce’s vocals pack a punch, and that was before he ordered us to “WAKE THE FUCK UP!” The crowd went mad and Duce managed to get everyone sat on the floor (cue stressed security). I’ve never seen such a great reaction to a support band. It was impossible to dislike them.
As Twin Atlantic’s appearance edged ever closer, there was just enough time to fit 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in to get everyone even more pumped. It’s a proven fact that this song will make your gig amazing, and I’m surprised more bands don’t use it! People are born with the lyrics imprinted in their brain and anyone that does not know them should be sectioned. Not even the most dour person could resist this mass sing-a-long, so when the four Scotsfolk eventually took to the stage our voices were nicely warmed up for 'Yes, I Was Drunk'. A slow beginner, but it led into the livelier 'Time For You To Stand Up', and the energy just got more exciting with each track.
A great mix of songs were played from their two albums, Vivarium and Free, and the band even dropped in new track, 'Lost Ones' – a very poppy number, but obviously in a most excellently heavy way. I can’t wait to hear their next record, but being a very old fan of theirs I do miss hearing tracks from the debut EP, A Guidance From Colour. However, hearing the second song of the encore - 'Crash Land', which has been around for yonks - made my night. It gets more amazing with each gig with an extra hundred people or so to sing every word. Literally, all TA need to do is instruct the audience when to start and then stand back and watch.
'Free', of course, closed the show, turning the entire floor into a mosh pit – limbs everywhere. It was traumatic in a beautiful way, leaving us knackered and Twin Atlantic humbled. [Sniff, wipes tear away] I’m so proud of those lads. (Patronising, me?)
Photo: © Ashley Webb