Twin Atlantic – Brighton Centre

By paul

Brighton’s Engine Rooms is a horrible, horrible venue. It?s dirty, the beer?s ninety percent water and there is absolutely no air conditioning. Still, they do get some cracking gigs, with tonight being no exception. Local boys Stars and Sons open, and they?re an impressive enough act. Their happy-go-lucky piano rock lies somewhere between Something Corporate and Belle & Sebastian, and it?s hard not to dislike them, despite the weak vocals.

Following them, The Xcerts take to the stage, and it?s for them that most people are here tonight. This is a local show for a band that have been jaunting around the country all summer and the rapturous welcome they receive is completely justified. I throw around the word ?passion? to describe bands as much as Jeremy Clarkson does to cars, but passion is something The Xcerts have by the bag load.

Between songs, frontman Murray McLeod is a shy, nervous and awkward character that looks uncomfortable as the centre of attention. However, once the songs kick in, he is a completely different creature altogether. When he sings, you feel like he?s singing the words as if he just wrote them, there?s that much emotion in his eyes and his voice. The Xcerts are already making a formidable name for themselves, and the release of their debut album in the New Year will only build on that.

And so, to Twin Atlantic. Their set gets off to a shaky start, with technical troubles making it look like they may only be able to contine with just one guitar. However, frontman Sam Mctrusty?s quick thinking means we?re treated to a beautiful acoustic number while technical issues are resolved.

When the show continues, it becomes clear that Twin Atlantic are a very, very tight act. Their sound is much meatier live than on record, and Mctrusty?s Scotch-as-you-like vocals are absolutely spot on. Honestly, I really wasn?t expecting them to be this good. New single ?What is Light/Where is Laughter?? sets the crowd afire, while ?Crash Land? shows how Twin Atlantic can slow things down and tug on your heartstrings as well as rock your balls off. They close with ?Audience and Audio?, which, being their poppiest and most uplifting track to date ends the evening on a high, with many a wide smile leaving the room. With a live show as impressive as this, it?s little wonder they?ve been requested to support The Subways on their full tour next month?.

Andy R