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Review by Sarah Johnson
On Friday the 15th of December I saw The Twang live at the O2 Academy in Newcastle. The Twang? Remember them? 10 years ago they released their debut album Love It When I Feel Like This, and it got to #3 on the UK top charts. 10 years later, they’re celebrating its 10th anniversary with a good old, indie rock UK tour.
At first, I had my doubts about the whole atmosphere and experience of the gig, due to the lack of a queue outside the door when my friend and I arrived, some rowdy people demanding refunds because the band had closed off the balcony seating area, and some other people arguing with the event staff over money and tickets. Nevertheless, this was not enough to dampen my spirit or my inner 2007 indie rock soul. We were greeted into the main venue hall with Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz, Song 2 by Blur, Love Will Tear us Apart by Joy Division and Daniel by Bat for Lashes. Now, when you are welcomed into a gig with legendary anthems, you expect the band to also lay down some legendary anthems. At this point, I was very excited.
The first support band were called The Assist. This band was absolutely full to the brim with amateur antics and young, bad habits. Their stage presence was noticeably fake and robotic. The bassist, guitarist and drummer all had blank expressions on their faces and looked somewhat bored. The lead singer did, however, possess a little bit more ‘groove’ than his peers. He manoeuvred around the stage like he owned it and danced to his sweet, sugary indie sound; however, he lacked charisma and his grooving seemed temporary and a little bit forced. Although this band’s actual music was easy-listening and incredibly enjoyable, their stage presence let them down. This didn’t really have an impact on the music (they were amazing sound-wise), however it did have a huge impact on the audience’s vibe. I saw people dancing, but they weren’t really getting into the live feeling of the music. Despite this however The Assist have some pretty good songs. If you’re looking for some soft, velvety rock; they’re your guys!
The next support band were called Sugartheif. They had a lot more passion and all-around depth to their stage presence and their music. They just had a lot more to them then The Assist did, in my opinion. Their young vintage dress sense and medium length hair, paired with their smooth and laid back sound, was quite enchanting. They own a zingy, indie rock uniqueness which attracted more crowd members to the floor, from the bar. They have songs which reflect The Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever You Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, Blur’s Modern Life Sucks and Feeder’s The Singles. They occupied the stage with a warming and overpowering presence and this enabled people to dance and swerve to their music.
And then, finally, The Twang were introduced slowly after Sugartheif packed away their gear. Pretty much everyone from the bar then headed onto the floor and awaited the main reason they were out tonight, to see The Twang in all their nostalgic, indie glory. They roared onto the stage, starting off with the one everyone knew Barney Rubble. This kicked off the band’s revival with a clean and joyful image. You couldn’t help but notice everyone in the crowd smiling and singing along, which is one of the most enjoyable things about going to see live music. The vibe from the crowd was amazing. The band continued to play more of their hits (mainly from Love It When I Feel Like This) such as ‘Two Lovers’, ‘Mainline’, ‘Either Way’ and ‘Back Where We Started’. The whole set was utterly bright and fresh, just like their songs. They certainly proved that they were alive and teaming with irresistible rhythm.
The Twang are definitely one of the most underrated and amazing live bands. 10/10. I would recommend going to see them, even if you don’t know their songs; they are impossible not to groove and move to! Such a lovely night.