THE TWILIGHT SAD // BARROWLAND BALLROOM, GLASGOW
THE TWILIGHT SAD RETURN HOME BUT THERE IS NOTHING SAD ABOUT IT
This is the hottest ticket in town tonight as The Twilight Sad play their homecoming gig. The crowd will have to wait that little bit longer as there were two supports on before the main event.
The first band up are Fiskar; a three piece band with a traditional drums, guitar and bass set up plus some sort of backing track. They were very good and had the growing crowd applauding and cheering in appreciation and they seemed genuinely thankful for the chance to play at Barrowlands and on the same bill as the headliners.
Next up is Michael Timmons but unfortunately I missed the all but one song of the main support due to ensuring that I was in possession of the correct pass to photograph and review the gig. The security seemed to be extra tight for the event perhaps due to the interest it had generated or the number of people outside that were ticketless. Michael Timmons is a solo act who plays guitar and it would be unfair of me to review him on the strength of one song.
It was almost time; the venue was packed and the buzz of anticipation grew by the minute. Every time one of the background tunes finished there was a cheer from the crowd but they were made to wait. The Twilight Sad were late coming on to the stage and the excited crowd were working themselves into a frenzy. Would it be worth the wait? Only time would tell...
Another tune from the PA fades, another cheer from the crowd rises but this time the band are here. The cheer fills the arena and the wait is over.
Enigmatic James Graham walks on stage pumping the air with his fists and the enormity of the night hits him immediately. “A f***ing sold out gig on a Saturday at the Barrowlands... F***ing Yes!!!”
There was no doubt that this was going to be an epic gig for both band and fans alike. Their latest album has received rave reviews and a personal invitation from Robert Smith to tour the World with The Cure means that these are extraordinary times for the band.
James almost immediately poured out his feelings to the crowd and was genuinely touched by the reception they were given.
The gig was going to plan from the off and the band, crew and crowd were in harmony; you just know when the Barrowlands are with you as a band and that’s why bands from every genre and every decade say that it is their favourite venue. This was one of those times.
Then came ‘the moment’. Every great gig has ‘a moment’.
James asked the tech guys to put up the house lights so that he could see the crowd before another outpouring of emotion as he asks the crowd to show everyone “how we sing Cold Days From The Birdhouse in Glasgow”. What transpired from that moment on was spine tingling; a Glasgow crowd in the best venue in the World singing at the top of their lungs is hard to beat.
The band had been good up till this point but they seemed to find inspiration in and from the crowd. They found another gear and the crowd responded in kind. Every song an anthem; every song invoking a reply from the adoring crowd. There is a bit of Ian Curtis in the stage presence of the singer as he lunges, twirls and punches his way from side to side, never standing still. There’s maybe a touch of Interpol or Editors about some of the sounds but so what? This is a band on fire right now and their own unique sound and stage presence transcends any comparisons. There is a beautiful sound pallette from the keyboards which compliment and enhance the guitars, the distortion and the strong Scottish accented vocals that brings something unique.
“You’ve made five miserable bas***ds very f****ng happy tonight” and “You’ve made a massive difference in our lives... cheers!” might seem like throwaway lines from most bands but you get the feeling that this lot mean it. You get the feeling that The Twilight Sad might be a miserable bunch but they are a grateful bunch as they look down on the adoring crowd assembled before them.
This gig will live long in the memories of those lucky enough to secure a ticket and, I’m sure, in the memories of The Twilight Sad camp.
Was it worth the wait? If you were there then you know the answer; if not you’ll need to take my word for it. It was worth it and then some...