07 July 2009

Review: The Twilight Sad - The Bongo Club, Edinburgh (2/7/09)

First Scottish headline date this year for The Sad, and it was a pity they had support acts. Up first was The Foundling Wheel, a solo experimental/punk din. His music often sounded like the screeching of a freshly castrated goat being farted through the arse of an angry dalek. I tried to think happy thoughts, but these were interrupted continuously by the racket emanating from the speakers before me. It’s music you either love or hate. Hated it.

Thank feck for the arrival of Y’all Is Fantasy Island’s Adam Stafford, I thought. Until he started. His guitar clattered away like someone sawing through a metal dustbin full of bats. It was boggin. Pure boggin. I don’t know if this was intentional or not but he didn’t seem to mind. I’m sure there were a few good songs lurking beneath the noise but I couldn’t enjoy it. He finished his set with a cover of Daniel Johnston’s Blue Clouds in which he looped loads of different vocal parts over the other to create a pulsing, hypnotic backing to the lyrics. It was the most tuneful moment of his set though slightly overlong. Would be nice to hear him again at a gig where you can actually hear the notes he’s playing.

So, time for The Twilight Sad. As always, it’s excellent stuff. The set is of primarily new material with just a smattering of the oldies thrown in. Despite the scarcity of well-known songs, the crowd are wildly appreciative. Highlights include the superb new single I Became A Prostitute, opener Reflection Of The Television and - probably my favourite of the new tracks - the vicious Made to Disappear . James Graham’s awkward attempts at banter is - as ever - pish (and therefore a highlight). Another was Orzel’s flowery Bermuda shorts, which made him look far less terrifying than this at Stag and Dagger. But, flowery beachwear, shite patter and creepy masks aside, I reckon the next album is going to be surpass their debut by far going by this gig.

Although the new songs are slightly more melodic and contain a far more sinister edge, there only appears to be minimal musical progression and not in a bad way.. It’s almost as if they’ve taken what they had before and made it slightly better without doing anything too drastic. I sometimes feel that with bands moving onto their second album, they have forced themselves to progress rather than let progression happen naturally. This does not apply to The Twilight Sad. It sounds natural. It sounds more rounded. It sounds like a band making music they actually want to make, adhering to no verse-chorus-verse song writing conventions and successfully retaining the brutality of their debut, yet at the same time feeling textured and dynamic. Enough of this. I’m away to live in the hut until this album comes out. Chap the door and let me know when it does. Mind the cobwebs…

No comments:

Post a Comment