If you have not heard of these guys before, Twin Atlantic are a four-piece alternative rock band hailing from Glasgow, Scotland. Having just released their second album ‘Great Divide’ on 18th August 2014, the Twin Atlantic boys are now finishing off their UK tour before taking on Europe, and then the US.
The new album has received a strong reception from fans, reaching no.6 in the Official UK Album chart during the first week of its release. A good mixture of dynamic, punchy tracks such as ‘Heart and Soul’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’ as well as slower, more melodic ones like ‘Rest in Pieces’ and ‘Why Won’t We Change’, ‘Great Divide’ really showcases the diversity of Twin Atlantic’s musical talent, and makes the most of the versatility and range of lead singer Sam McTrusty’s voice.
This selection of new songs presents a subtle update to the band’s existing sound. ‘Great Divide’ is only Twin Atlantic’s second album, which makes its recent chart success all the more impressive, and is a credit to their musical ability. A slight move away from the more angsty, romance-focused lyrics of their first album, ‘Free’, the new album presents a more intense, upbeat set of tracks that translate well from the studio to live performance.
This brings me to the subject of Twin Atlantic’s live show at Leeds Beckett Student’s Union last week, on Thursday 30th October.
Supporting the band were Essex boys ‘Nothing but Thieves’ and Aberdeen’s ‘The Xcerts’, whose talent and enthusiasm made for a fitting warm up to what was to be an excellent show.
Nothing but Thieves, a five-piece alternative band from Southend on Sea, Essex, opened the show. The band’s unique and contemporary indie rock sound was well received by the audience, with lead singer Conor’s vocals taking centre stage, complimented by melodic guitar riffs and uncomplicated drums. Their energetic performance really helped get the audience going and set the general tone for the night.
The three-piece rock band The Xcerts followed with set of songs that reminded me of a mixture between bands like Mayday Parade and Blink 182. I felt that this arrangement of the support acts to move from a more indie to a rockier sound worked well, as it helped to fuel the audience’s anticipation for the appearance of the main act.
I had seen Twin Atlantic play live the last time they were on tour at The Ritz in Manchester and really enjoyed the show, so I had high expectations, but I have to admit, they exceeded them.
Although initially I was a little apprehensive about the smaller scale of the venue, in practice, the intimacy of the smaller stage offered by Leeds Beckett’s union made an ideal platform for an engaging and interactive performance.
The band went for a reasonably ambitious set made up predominantly of new songs, opening with the new album’s intro track ‘ The One That I Love’, and playing just 3 songs from the previous album: ‘Make A Beast of Myself’, ‘What is Light, Where is Laughter?’ and my personal favourite ‘Crash Land’.
The risk paid off, as the audience clearly liked the new sound, already having learned many of the lyrics to the new songs – only 3 of which have been released as singles to date (‘Heart and Soul’, ‘Brothers and Sisters’ and ‘Hold On’). This made for an almost euphoric atmosphere, and the band was clearly touched by such a positive reception. Front man Sam McTrusty summed up the night well in his tweets after the show:
The highlights of the gig for me have to be when they played ‘Crash Land’ and the encore. To use Sam’s own words, there was an almost ‘camp-fire’ atmosphere, with the audience all joining in singing the lyrics and the vocals switching seamlessly from Sam to the fans and back again. For the encore, the band played ‘Heart and Soul’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’, which closed the night on a high note; as the first two single releases from the new album, fans had awaited these songs being played with much anticipation throughout the night.
Here is a photo of my friend Robyn and I when we met The Xcerts. Left to right: Jordan Smith (guitar), Murray Macleod (lead vocals), Me, and Tom Heron (drums).
Twin Atlantic were not able to hang around after the show, but I did have a chance to catch up with the two support acts, who had stayed at the merch stand to meet the fans and sign tickets, etc. Both groups were friendly and open, answering questions and just having a relaxed chat with fans about the night.
Out of all the gigs that I have been to, this is right up there as one of my all time favourites. So if you like alternative rock and a Scottish accent I would definitely recommend this band. Equally good – if not better – live than on record, you won’t regret it.
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3. Writer’s own.