LIVE: Twin Atlantic @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

By Yasmin Brown

It’s 8pm in Camden and you would never for a second believe that not so long ago this bustling, cultural hub of London was all but a ghost town. The line outside the iconic Electric Ballroom is longer than the eye can see, as fans are eager to make their way in to check out opening band, four-piece Bloxx ahead of the main event – the mighty Twin Atlantic.

Making the most of their hometown show, Bloxx throw everything they have into their 30-minute set, pulling from the biggest and best of their back catalogue and throwing in a new tune for good measure. The friendship that exists between band members is tangible here, as they scream in each other’s faces and lean back on each other for what must be both physical and mental support. They may not be the most obvious choice to support Twin Atlantic, but somehow it works, and from the number of bopping heads, it’s clear they’ve picked up some new fans this evening.

Originally scheduled for March 2020, for both bands on the bill, this show has been a long time coming, and already it feels just that little bit more special than normal. Of course, when Twin Atlantic take to the stage to their latest instrumental twinkling over the speakers, this magic only intensifies and we finally realise exactly just how memorable this evening is set to be.

Of course a delayed tour means we’re treated to new music, and the set opens with the very left-field but absolutely brilliant ‘Bang on the Gong’, a tongue-in-cheek dance number that sets the tone perfectly and makes us wish we hadn’t just picked up a fresh pint so we could really lose our minds. Naturally, though, there are always those that decide the beer simply isn’t worth it, and liquid is propelled into the air as those further forward simply can’t hold it in anymore. It’s been 17 months, after all. They’ll be damned if they don’t make the most of every second.

From here on out, it’s nothing but a dance party, with fans either screaming the lyrics to old favourites or simply grinning ear to ear as they frantically and desperately launch themselves into the air. Despite the fact that this show is technically in support of the band’s 2020 album, ‘POWER’ (January 2020, that is), there are actually very few songs from that particular release on the setlist, as Twin Atlantic make what is a seemingly conscious effort to please fans of all eras, pulling from even their earlist release ‘Vivarium’ with ‘What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?’ It’s clear with the first notes of every song just how much this band is loved, highlighting the sheer strength and longevity of the relationship they have with their fans. This simply isn’t a band that draws in the casual follower. If you’re with Twin Atlantic, you’re with them fiercely and for life. 

The only exception to the raucous party comes when front man Sam McTrusty basks in a moment of self-indulgence, clearing the stage and leaving just himself and his acoustic guitar behind as he starts to play what is arguably Twin Atlantic’s most loved song to date – ‘Crash Land’. The crowd loves this song so much, in fact, that McTrustry lets us do most of the singing, chipping in every now and then with the first few words and a strum of the chords to keep us moving. It’s a stunning moment, truly one worth journaling and looking back on in years to come even if just for the distant memory of the magical atmosphere it sparked. This song is 10 years old in 2021, and yet it still packs as much of a punch as it ever has. It’s not even really Twin’s anymore – it’s ours.

After another beautiful solo acoustic performance of 2013’s ‘Oceans’, there are just two more songs to go, and it suddenly feels like despite the sweat, exhaustion and hoarse throats, that it’s over as soon as it’s begun. With this knowledge, however, comes a newfound energy and with the opening notes of ‘Barcelona’, we’re ready to put our dancing shoes back on, refusing to take them off until the last notes the extended fan fav ‘Heart and Soul’ play out and the show draws to a triumphant close. 

This has been a night to remember – a night of Cheshire Cat grins, of lost inhibitions, of nostalgia, of community. Whether you’ve watched it play out from the stage or the crowd, there’s only absolute joy to be felt here. From McTrusty’s Glaswegian quips, to the fierceness behind Craig Kneale’s drumming and everything in between, tonight has been all but perfect and with a new album just announced, we’ll be riding on this high all the way into January when we get to do it all over again.