Depending on your point of view, The Twang are either the loveable everyman underdogs of indie rock, or simply another victim of the notoriously fickle, here-today-gone-tomorrow NME hype machine that has claimed the lives of so many bands and artists. When we last left our heroes, they had just released their third album 10:20 to relatively little fanfare. Filled with the type of danceable lad rock that has become their trademark, the record cemented their status as the Happy Mondays of the Spotify generation – with the fans, if not the public. And, as their live set shows, this is a band that is all about the fans.
Opening act Jaws managed to hold the attention of those arriving early with a short but vibrant set of dreamy jangle pop. By the time Phil Etheridge and his merry men swaggered onstage, the crowd had grown considerably, with first song and early favourite ‘Ice Cream Sundae’ setting the agenda for the night: this was to be an energetic, no-frills crowd pleaser of a show.
With the band in high spirits and delivering a tight performance, recent single ‘We’re A Crowd’ created the first of many mass sing-a-longs, while the rest of the set drew heavily from their much-loved debut Love It When I Feel Like This. The only real lull was the obligatory brand new song, which received polite applause from an audience that had so obviously come to hear the songs they knew. Big name tracks ‘Barney Rubble’ and ‘Wide Awake’ were saved until the encore, and got the best reception of the night, with choruses tailor made for being shouted back at the band by giddy, slightly pissed-up fans. In fact, it was during these moments that The Twang made most sense; these are not songs to listen to alone in your room, they’re meant for singing along to with your mates, beer in hand. And in that sense, they definitely delivered.
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