LIVE REVIEW: Twin Atlantic @ Arts Club, Liverpool – 9th July 2016

This is the first time that Twin Atlantic have played in Liverpool for five years, and after seeing the packed-out Arts Club, you can really tell. That much is inevitable though – this venue is considerably smaller than the ones they’re used to playing at this stage, and given a headline slot at 2000 Trees only 24 hours previous giving an indication of the level they’re currently on, more intimate affairs like this will soon be hard to come by, especially when fourth album GLA drops in September and sees them well and truly explode.

 Given the unenviable task of kicking off are sole support act All Tvvins [7], and in all fairness, they’re actually pretty good. They’re the kind of band that BBC Introducing would fall over themselves to have onboard – packing in the sounds of indie’s more interesting acts like Foals and Bastille, and some really solid songs that would have plenty of mainstream appeal with some backing. And with the combination of some killer slithering basslines and electronics that are kept far away from garish territory, there are plenty of hooks to latch onto throughout, even with the Irish band arriving as virtual unknowns. A bit of buzz behind All Tvvins, and you’ll be hearing a lot more of them in the future.

 As for Twin Atlantic [8], they’re currently the recipients of the most buzz they’ve ever had, and it shows. Opener Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator, a song whose recorded counterpart is probably the messiest track the band have to their name, really comes into its own in the live environment as a rowdy crowd warm-up, and it’s pretty much smooth sailing from here on out. The only real weak moment comes with newbie Ex El, but that’s really only because it’s still getting its land legs as a song, and the band seem a bit more cautious throughout than they do with others. When the wheels start turning, it’ll easily be another addition to the Glaswegians’ ever-growing list of anthemic bangers.

 Speaking of anthemic bangers, you’d be hard pushed to find a single moment in the setlist that doesn’t fit this criteria. As utterly life-affirming as the likes of Make A Beast Of Myself and Hold On are though (and the enormous grin plastered across frontman Sam McTrusty’s face across the entirety of the latter makes it all the sweeter), the true centrepiece of the set is No Sleep. It’s a lot more raw than most of their material, taking the form of a dirty rock ‘n’ roll track, and with one of the biggest chorus this band have ever written (which is really saying something), it certainly bodes well for their upcoming album if this is the quality that’ll be withheld.

 In terms of older tracks, the band are no slouches either, with a myriad of opportunities for everyone to scream along in their best dodgy, Scottish accent. While Free and the absolutely riotous I Am An Animal will be the kind of songs that’ll launch them into stadiums before long, the acoustic guitar / cello dynamic of Crash Land is one that feels a lot more personal, but inflated to enormous proportions thanks to the hundreds-strong vocal aid. It’s during moments like this that appeal of Twin Atlantic becomes clearer than ever – there are no frills or gimmicks, just absolutely massive rock songs that transcend genre into something for everyone regardless. Like we said earlier, you won’t be seeing Twin Atlantic in venues this small again; if they’re not headlining arenas at least by the end of GLA‘s cycle, then something is desperately wrong.

Words by Luke Nuttall

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