LIVE: Young Guns / Twin Wild @ Madame Jojo’s, London

By Ben Tipple

Having taken to the Main Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival only a week prior to the Madame Jojo’s show, the intimate subterranean burlesque club in London’s notorious Soho district is a far cry from Young Guns’ usual surroundings. Acting as a homecoming, tonight is not just an intimate showcase – it’s both a thank you to those who have either worked with or supported the band and a chance for the five-piece to let loose.

Tonight’s one and only support act comes in the shape of London based four-piece Twin Wild. Playing the style of melodic rock that has seen the likes of Mallory Knox or almost-name buddies Twin Atlantic rise through the echelons, the Wild lads demonstrate enough force to join them. Having already garnered attention from their contemporaries, the massive soaring melodies and frontman Richard Hutchinson’s infallible vocals are undoubtedly set to get them noticed.

Although their melodies teeter unapologetically into pop territory, the unexpected heavier moments – such as on next single ‘Another Stranger’ – cement the crossover appeal. Despite the lack of space on the tiny Madame Jojo’s stage, the four piece combine their sound with an assured stage presence; one that shows signs of developing into something much bigger.

As Twin Wild express their hope for a sufficiently warmed up crowd, tonight’s opening act are playing as the band they want to be, and almost certainly will become.

For any upstarts, Young Guns aren’t a bad benchmark to aim for. Tonight frontman Gustav Wood shimmy and shakes his way across the stage, managing to make it look a lot more spacious than it is in reality. It’s clearly hot in the underground venue, despite the torrential downpour greeting the audience as they arrive outside, yet nothing appears to slow the band down.

Their newer material appears far more experimental than that of old, with their invigorated soundscapes now influenced by new genres. Where pop is amped up, for example on most recent single ‘I Want Out’, their sound bounces around the intimate venue, yet it’s their better known material that works best.

As the crowd is clearly split between die-hard fans and industry figures, the majority of the noise emanates from the small pit closest to the stage – a pit that still manages to incite an old fashioned mosh and stage divers, despite the relative unusual nature of the venue.

As Wood announces his exuberance at being back on a smaller stage, it’s clear that everyone is enjoying themselves tonight. Despite highlighting the band’s somewhat melodramatic showmanship, it’s clear that Young Guns haven’t lost their love for an intimate venue. With their new material continuing to develop on the infectious nature of ‘Bones’, tonight is a definite sign that there is much more to come from British melodic rock.