LIVE: Foxing / TTNG @ Sound Control, Manchester

By Mark Johnson

In November 2015 Foxing invited TTNG on a North American tour and now, fortunately for us, the two have reunited to play a string of co-headlining dates across Europe. TTNG are first to the stage, opening with fan favourite ‘Chinchilla’ from their 2008 debut album ‘Animals’, which gets the room suitably stirred up. The band have been hard at work writing a follow-up to 2013’s ‘’ and aside from a couple of choice cuts from said record, the set is largely dedicated to airing out some newly written tracks.

The new songs rest in between their previous two records, with the vocal approach being a continuation of ‘’ but with the debut’s busier guitar work. It’s still very much TTNG, everything building from the beautifully composed, finger-picked guitar work and intricately complex drumming. The band are completely at ease on stage, playing through the set confidently and casually, despite the complex time signatures and intricate musicianship. The vocals are flawless throughout and the instrumentation extremely tight, making this yet another accomplished performance from the three-piece.

It’s a shame the set passes by without more recognisable material to sing along to and participate with, but the band are understandably excited to showcase some of the new material from their upcoming album, which the band say should be released in July.

Foxing pack the stage with twice the band members and a lot more equipment, taking a keyboard, violin, sampler and trumpet to the performance area. All of these elements weave together to form a beautiful ambience that fills the room from the start of their set to the end. The band released their second album ‘Dealer’ in 2015 and the majority of the set focused on this more recent material.

The band exude a tremendous amount of passion on stage, visibly feeling every note that they play and this connection between the band and their music spreads into the audience. The atmospheric flourishes of keyboards, samples and trumpet add to the already ethereal backdrop of Foxing’s indie-alternative sound, keeping the set sounding fresh and vibrant throughout. Vocalist Conor Murphy’s shy, reserved persona adds a charming personality to the performance, his vulnerability adding emotion to a highly accomplished vocal display. As with TTNG before them, Foxing’s performance is flawlessly tight, elevating the already impressive songs of ‘Dealer’ to new heights thanks to the atmospheric ambience of live music.

It’s no wonder the two bands have continued to tour together as their highly accomplished live performances compliment each other so well. Having witnessed both bands at the top of their game, audiences will no doubt be hoping that this isn’t the last time they share the stage.