Scotland has always, from Orange Juice to Arab Strap
and Franz Ferdinand, laid claim to some of the purest
and most impassioned strains of indie music to ever
hail from this craggy isle. But of late it seems to
be digging that much deeper. Bands using their own brogue,
undimmed by the usually neutralising influence of pop
music’s universal parlance, not just as an instrument
in its own right, but also as a weapon, brandished like
the splintered leg of a bar stool. Most notable, of
course, is Glasvegas’ forceful assault on the mainstream
with their gradual tales of despair and inner torment
coiled like a force of nature. But there are others;
Malcolm Middleton keeps Arab Strap’s fires burning with
inspired misery bellows, Frightened Rabbit give anti-folk
a firm Glasgow kiss and tonight’s two acts butter up
two different brands of intensity and butcher accordingly.
Paolo Nuttini this ain’t.
Considering We Were Promised Jetpack’s debut, ‘These
Four Walls’, singed a permanent mark on Crud’s ear canal
earlier this year, jumping around our consciousness
like a grenade with a wobbly pin, an enthusiastic consequence
of countrymen Idlewild and Biffy Clyro’s obvious influence,
their live performance was decidedly unexplosive. Sure,
industrial singing engine Adam Thompson blasts a path
to the back of the room no problem, and it’s not that
they don’t have the muscle, more that they’ve not developed
a tactic beyond swinging aimlessly yet.
The Twilight Sad pack some serious muscle, there’s
little question of that. They could break things, you
suspect, just by looking at them. And not through any
overt sense of threat – it’s a focussed intensity that
takes them beyond even what their blueprint promises.
Their debut album, the dauntingly maudlin ‘Fourteen
Autumns & Fifteen Winters’, was Mogwai in negative,
where you crave for the vocal tracks over the instrumental
and where the two work so intuitively together to truly
devastating effect. Live album ‘The Twilight Sad Killed
My Parents…’ we had expected would prepare us for this
performance, but the band that appear tonight ahead
of the release of their second album in October have
rooted themselves down even further, meaning that for
the increased force of the pandemonium that chimes up
in ever increasing shrapnel whirlwinds, they stand firmer
and yet more immovable. The post post-rock Forth Bridge.
A permanent fixture.
Verdict: Step into the Twilight zone, post haste.
Best In Show: Gigantic new Interpol-mauling single
‘I Became A Prostitute’
Download: ‘I’m Taking The Train Home’ which violently
thrashes the show to a close as singer James Graham
stands intense and still in the eye of the storm
Playlist companions: Mogwai, Red Jetson, …Trail
Of Dead, Interpol
Photos & Report ~ James Berry for Crud Magazine