Date: 28th January 2020
Venue: The Wardrobe, Leeds
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With Independent Venue Week now in full swing after Monday night’s Vukovi show at Hyde Park Book Club, it was time to step things up. The only thing more grassroots than seeing a band play in an independent venue is when they’re playing a show organised byt a local record store. As luck would have it Crash Records had managed to pull yet another blinder and tonight was Twin Atlantic’s turn to play at the 650 cap Wardrobe in Leeds to go along with the release of their new album ‘POWER’. Having seen the band perform twice before on the big stages at festivals I was well aware of how well they could take to the big stage but tonight was going to be something else completely
With a departure from just the standard riffy rock that Twin Atlantic were known for previously to a much more synth based rock it was a bold step for the band to take however after listening through the album a few times it was clear that everything the band had managed before was still present there was just added extras. As the crowd filled up the venue there was a real sense of excitement amongst the crowd to hear the new tracks played live for the first time. The wait wasn’t long and drawn out though as the band took to the stage and immediately launched into the opening track from ‘POWER’ – ‘Oh! Euphoria!’. After the long introduction of synths to build on the already high excitement in the room the track eventually kicked in and it was clear that the energy was even wilder live than on the record. The crowd started dancing along from the very start. Continuing with the new tracks the band then went into ‘Novocaine’ which, whilst more like the Twin Atlantic of old, still had enough newer elements to really expand the sound coming from the stage. Not content with just standing back and playing it was only a matter of time before vocalist Sam McTrusty was up to the barrier to get as up close and personal with the crowd, even saying that thanks to the crowd being so involved it felt much more like a regular gig than just an album release show.
After a couple of tracks from their new album it was time to take a step back in their discography for the huge hit ‘No Sleep’. Whilst the crowd may have been dancing along it was nothing compared to the reaction with the crowd bouncing along to the chorus and filling the venue with shouts of “I get no sleep!”. Taking things a step further back in time the band went back to the original big track that got me into the band – 2011’s’Make A Beast Of Myself’ with the crowd still pumped after ‘No Sleep’ it didn’t take much coaxing to have the crowd moving yet again. As the set reached it’s ever to short halfway point the band opted for ‘Volcano’ to come next and with its pulsing bassline delivered by bassist Ross McNae it took no time for the crowd to clap along to the verses before jumping around at the chorus. Switching instantly back to the newer tracks Twin Atlantic went for the building ‘Brothers and Sisters’, with the crowd following along with every word it reached deafening volumes by the time the band reached the chorus of the track. With the song coming to an end the band had just enough comment to comment on a t-shirt worn by one of the fans in the front row before they headed into their final two songs of the nigh. ‘Barcelona’, the other Single off ‘POWER’ was tonight’ penultimate track and to no one’s surprise people had been listening to it on repeat since it was released last December as even for a new track the crowd were very much involved dancing along to the track as it took on the more poppier sounds of the new album. As one last hurrah and to end the night off in style the band had saved the massive ‘Heart and Soul’ until the very end. And what a decision it was, with the lights flashing manically the band used up all the remaining energy they had, and as the track came to an en everyone was looking at their watches to see just how short tonight’s set had been.
Whilst the set may have only been a short 45 minute one, it worked very well to show that the new racks from ‘POWER’ integrate nicely with their older work as half of the tracks played tonight were newer ones. Whilst this sound may be new to the band it is definitely a positive move and from the other reviews I have read everyone seems to be in agreement on that one so hopefully it shouldn’t be too long before they’re back to the bigger stages. The one advantage to a shorter set is that there was still time remailing for those in attendance to have the chance to meet the band and get albums and tickets signed. This kind of format works really well to build the connection with the band as there would be no other time a band the size of Twin Atlantic would be playing The Wardrobe. Big love as always goes out to Crash records for their arranging of this and yet again showing the links they have with not only the bigger bands but also the local grassroots venues like this. All in all as one parting sentence this is exactly the kind of huge show that Independent Venue Week was created to facilitate.