In the darkly lit, jam-packed Club Academy, Birmingham band The Twang gave an almighty performance on Saturday night. Despite a technical hitch that had Phil Etheridge admitting to the crowd that he was off to get some more tequila while it was fixed, the show was quickly up and running, opening with ‘Ice Cream Sundae’ and warming up the crowd with a classic single from debut album Love It When I Feel Like This.
Performing a mix of breakthrough classics and new single ‘We’re a Crowd’, the band had their audience bouncing and jumping to every song. Phil Etheridge’s interaction with the audience is excellent and, combined with the small venue, gave the gig a personal intimate feel – a bit like watching your mate’s band perform in a local pub. Highlights included ‘Guapa’ and ‘We’re a Crowd’ which has a different, slightly more mature sound to it than previous releases – retaining the raw sound of ‘The Neighbour’, for example, but with a softer, grown-up edge. The single was written during last year’s city riots and thus has the community vibe that echoes Manchester’s dignified response to the aftermath. Phil Etheridge’s declaration, before the song begun, that it was written “with a town like this in mind,” had the audience energetically singing along.
When the gig was over and band and audience were a suitable amount sweaty, grimy and beer covered, Phil told the audience that he loves playing Manchester as they “treat them like one of their own”. It is undeniable that The Twang’s sound is very similar to our very own Oasis and Stone Roses, perhaps explaining why they fit in so well and why Manchester (and myself) will always welcome The Twang with open arms.