Live at Faversham on Sunday, 4th March 2007
Even the torrential downpour as we got out of the car, couldn't dampen the enthusiasm for tonight's gig. The Twang are the latest band to be given the tag of "next big thing", even winning a Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards, and if you haven't heard their latest offering "Wide awake" you must have been living in Outer Mongolia with ear plugs in. Even heard Janice Long championing them on Radio 2 (only had it on because my dad was in the car!), so suffice to say we couldn't wait.
The Faversham is one of the most intimate venues in Leeds, and tonight it was rammed. A very diverse and eclectic mix of people, varying from the guaranteed students, to fashion conscious ladies and older men (even saw Bryn Law from Sky Sports!). The crowd and venue were in place, so bring on the bands.
First up to get the crowd going were The Priory. The lead singer had some sort of problem, because all the way through his set, all he did was mess about with the spotlights. I don't know if they were burning his bald head, but his actions were a lot better than his music. Pretty bland and uninspiring, and they nearly did get the crowd going ... out of the door that is!
DJ - JP managed to get us all revved up again though, by playing music from the Midlands area, (The specials and Slade) along with bands from the same style as The Twang (Happy Mondays, Oasis), so bring em on!
The first thing you notice about The Twang is that they have two singers. Martin Sanders provides the bulk of the vocals and Phil Etheridge supplies Bez-like madness along with backing vocals and mayhem. Not since Madness has a band with two male singers delivered such a devastating and energy-filled performance. The dynamic of the whole band was to be admired, and you couldn't take your eyes off the stage. They really went for it, and looked like they were enjoying it and grateful for us all been there. Rare indeed. Saunders even commented, "I can't believe you lot have turned out on a Sunday night to see us, we've only had one single!"
The Midlands accent creeps through in the vocal performance, but that adds to the charm. You can't always hear what's been sung, but somehow you get the gist. Songs like 'Reap What You Sow', 'Push The Ghost', 'Either Way' and my personal favourite 'Ice Cream Sundae', were all received with rapturous applause and even the odd crowd surf. That paled into insignificance though when the opening chords to 'Wide Awake' were played. I think the roof actually came off; it was a windy night though.
Was the hype justified? Well it was certainly a blinding night, and I have not seen energy like that on a stage for a long time. The Twang are in the embryonic stages of their career though, and the media can knock you down just as easy as building you up. Definitely watch out for the new album, and if you get chance to see them at Leeds Met on the14th May, do so, if only to embrace the energetic performance that has your eyes glued to the stage.
Setlist: The Neighbour, Loosely Dancing, Don't Wait Up, Either Way, Lost My Smile, Ice Cream Sundae, Reap What You Sow, Push The Ghosts, Wide Awake, Cloudy Room.