The Twilight Sad
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It might only be a Tuesday night in October but with this many people crowding the bars around Stealth it could easily be mistaken for a Friday or Saturday. Indeed, much of that probably lies at the door of Mumford & Sons' long sold out show around the corner, tickets changing hands between desperate punters and touts for £90 a throw so we're told. For The Twilight Sad and Errors, currently at the halfway stage of their joint headline tour, going head to head with an event of that magnitude is difficult enough, but then with I Am Kloot performing next door to a busy Rescue Rooms, and Islet entertaining those who've ventured across the city to the Bodega, one doesn't envy anyone vying for attention in Nottingham this evening.
Fortunately, this Glasgow double-header is the most attractive proposition of the lot, not least because musically it's about as diverse and unorthodox as you're likely to witness all month. And that's just Errors. While the genre specialists dub them post-electronica, post-dance, post-rave, post-WHATEVER, it's fair to say their eclectic fusion of beat-laden influences proves a welcome entree for tonight's proceedings. Recent long player Come Down With Me may have been heavy going the first few listens, but after witnessing Errors in the flesh both here and at Summer Sundae two months ago, it's slowly dawned that they're an acceptable - if occasionally cheesy - middle ground between Foals' math experimentalism and Mogwai's raging power rhythms. 'Mr Milk' and 'A Rumour In Africa' both exemplify such comparisons to perfection, a point not unnoticed by those clamouring for a front row position, heads and arms flailing in disharmonious unison. It's the Kraftwerk inspired 'Beards' that really floats this boat though, its revolving beats and looped chimes hinting what Dusseldorf's underground music scene may have sounded like in 1972.
For The Twilight Sad, one senses the past twelve months would be better left forgotten. Having emerged two years earlier with the excellent Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters, its follow up, Forget The Night Ahead, felt like something of an anti-climax. Despite containing several gems among its eleven pieces, the record seemed to lack the immediacy of its predecessor, and coupled with the departure of original bass player Craig Orzel, the present as well as the future had an air of uncertainty about it for the band.
However, in the flesh, The Twilight Sad have always been a different proposition entirely. The sheer intensity of singer James Graham, a distinctive spectacle whose on-stage persona ensures onlookers daren't blink for one second for fear of missing something, plus the homogeneous noise emanating from the other four members of the collective creates a mesmerising sight and sound to behold.
Although mostly utilised as a dance-themed club style venue, Stealth's monumental speaker system acts as a supreme vehicle for delivering their powerhouse wall of sound at a mostly transfixed audience. Current single 'The Wrong Car' and its flipside 'Throw Yourself Into The Water Again' suggest the band's next venture could involve a return to the dense soundscapes of Fourteen Autumns..., while the fact only two songs from their most recent album make it onto the setlist - 'That Birthday Present' and 'I Became A Prostitute' - maybe hint that, in hindsight, the band themselves aren't totally au fait with that record either - although both sound impeccably taut here. The rest of the set is comprised of older material and the early rendition of 'That Summer I Had Become The Invisible Boy' married with a triple bludgeoning whammy of 'I'm Taking The Train Home', 'Cold Days From The Birdhouse' and 'And She Would Darken The Memory' at the end literally causes the floor beneath my feet to shake, such is the sheer ferocity of Andy MacFarlane's extraordinary guitar crescendos.
At the end, mission accomplished, James Graham thanks all and sundry for not going to see Mumford & Sons, and one has to say that on the evidence of The Twilight Sad's astounding performance this evening, why would you?
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