The Twang have coined this tour ‘intimate’. Well if you consider a cramming a few hundred club kids, football hooligans and lairy couples into a beer soaked underground intimate…well maybe we need to redefine intimate.
As a group they are softly quite softly spoken, always grateful (‘ta very much’ following every track) and seem to find the stage a comfortable place to be – they look completely relaxed when faced with a pack of drunken Mancs. But then again this seems to be what the band are about. They are one of the few bands left of what I consider to be a second or even third wave of Britpop in the mid 2000’s. Their counterparts in the likes of Hard Fi and The Ordinary Boys have (quite luckily in some respects) fallen by the wayside, but The Twang are still going. So there’s got to be something about them, right?
Looking around the room you can see that without doubt they have a universal appeal – student freshers, groups of lager loving lads, girls night out, the mod and hipster gang all rubbed shoulders in Manchester’s Ruby Lounge, raising their glasses and fists. In front of this somewhat motley crew, the band are at ease. Singer Saunds even takes a pint to the face mid song and carries on unphased, what a trooper!
Musically, the band are a well rehearsed tight unit, guitars as sharp as a smashed bottle you may find on the venues’ floor. Old standards such ‘We’re A Crowd’ were made for gigs – the soft mid-tempo track on record is an absolute bulldozer live. By far the highlight for me, it showcases everything that this band do right, the reasons for their diverse and cultish following. Simple yet poignant lyrics, an anthemic chorus and a stomping beat to dance to. It all suddenly made sense. New tracks, as is symptomatic of all modern music regardless of genre, have a slightly more electro feel to them. However The Twang don’t let trends completely take over their sound; songs such as ‘Larry Lizard’ are still done in the signature steady shouty style, and sound really good.
For those who doubt this band’s appeal, I really would recommend them live. Recreating the feeling you get from their music by listening to the record doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t do them justice. They are 100% a band that was born to play live. Live you get that pack mentality, the anger a being stuck in a rut, the bitterness at lost loves, and the big fat middle finger in the air that says ‘f*** it, we’re gonna have some fun’.