The commotion and alternative edge of a Twin Peaks show is something you can only grasp the concept of if you’re fully immersed in the love affair. The performance at Manchester’s Sound Control on 25 October was for the passionate, not the part-timers.
The quintet from Chicago demand adoration and expect their wildly crafted on-stage energy to be reciprocated and enhanced by the niche crowd below them. If you’re not fully invested in this band, who are three albums deep into their career, then this live show isn’t for you.
With their first record, Sunken, being released back in 2013 and their latest, Down In Heaven, hitting shelves this year, it seems Twin Peaks have three years worth of artillery and live experience to dip into. The result of this means that whatever tracks the band pick and pluck, they know their fans will be whipped up into a fevered frenzy of glee.
‘Butterfly’, ‘Walk To The One You Love’ and ‘Wanted You’ – all taken from the group’s third LP – are premiered live for the first time for many at Sound Control, while seasoned tracks such as ‘Making Breakfast’ and ‘I Found A New Way’ (both from 2014’s Wild Onion) see a surge of bodies pelting towards the barrier. The old entwine with the new and although it can be difficult to pin-point any real sign of forward movement to the sound, the fans are obviously still engaging and enthusing with the classic garage rock umbrella Twin Peaks reside under.
Arguably, the show is perhaps played too safe. There isn’t a real spark of excitement coursing through any of the worn tracks (‘Stand In The Sand’) nor is there a real, defining moment leaving you shaking in awe. It is a good show, but it’s the crowd participation and adrenaline that makes it a brilliant one. Twin Peaks are receiving the intense fondness they demand from their fans however, are they dealing out the same affection back?
The boys close without an encore due to a strict Sound Control curfew (the venue also doubles as an extremely popular nightclub in the early hours of the morning) and the feeling throughout is mellow. An extremely enjoyable show has just taken place, but something special was definitely missing.