Having been a Twin Atlantic fan from the early days of their existence it's been interesting to watch how the Scottish quartet have grown over the last couple of years. In their hometown of Glasgow the cavernous ABC has recently been filled by fervent local support but in London things are still on a smaller scale with the Borderline, one of the best 200-300 capacity venues around, providing the scene for the band tonight.
Opening things up are surprise special guests. There are, unfounded unlikely but promising in their vague degree of possibility, rumours beforehand of Biffy Clyro being the aforementioned guests but it is actually post-hardcore rockers Brigade who get things started off. Somewhat unfairly best known for being led by Will Simpson, Charlie Simpson of Busted and Fightstar fame's younger brother, they are more substantial than a great degree of their current peers but are dogged by sound issues in their brief set. Playing a set of almost exclusively new songs they struggle to hold the attention of those who haven't got a clue who they are. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination but certainly not the steady live act I've seen before.
Canterbury come next. I'm not optimistic as they come onstage having been distinctly unimpressed with their somewhat generic pop-punk shenanigans supporting Hundred Reasons last year. Pleasingly they have improved. Whereas previously the keyboardist / sometime lead vocalist appeared to spend most of the set narrowly avoiding falling off the stage and very little time actually doing something now they're a much tighter live act. Not really a band I'd choose to see or listen to often but at least energetic enough to avoid blending in too much with a saturated scene.
Bounding onstage with their usual enthusiasm Twin Atlantic play an absolute blinder of a set. Where they used to be somewhat restrained now their energy is apparently boundelss. Frontman Sam McTrusty oozes onstage persona like it's going out of fashion and guitarist / cellist Barry McKenna bounds around like a Jack Russell who's been given free reign of a dog biscuit factory. Behind them bassist Ross McNae and drummer Craig Kneale provide an impressive rhythm section. Whilst the crowd take a while to get going it's not long before a moshpit has kicked in and the crowd are screaming back the words to the likes of "What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?" and "Time Is The Enemy" in the direction of the band. The quartet appear to be having a great time and, although threatened with being cut off before concluding song "Audience & Audio" they finish triumphantly. This band has grown into a true live behemoth and, much as I'd love to be able to keep them to myself for a while longer, I think venues the size of the ABC are only a matter of time away in London as well. Genuinely up their with the best live sets I've seen.
Brigade - 6/10
Canterbury - 6/10
Twin Atlantic - 10/10
Twin Atlantic setlist (roughly right order)
You're Turning Into John Wayne
I Cave In
Old Grey Face
Running From Money (if anyone can clarify the title of this song it'd be cool)
Time Is The Enemy
What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?
A Guidance From Colour
Human After All
Caribbean War Syndrome
Audience & Audio