It is a rare occurrence when I attend a concert and actually enjoy all of the support acts as well as the headliners, but I was pleasantly surprised on the Birmingham leg of Twin Atlantic’s latest tour. The Scottish rockers are being supported UK-wide by two superb acts; Cambridge alternative rock band Lonely The Brave and uplifting indie pop ensemble Eliza and The Bear; and did not disappoint.
Lonely The Brave are a band that I was fortunate enough to catch live a few years ago on the Red Bull stage at Download, and I have been hoping to see them again ever since. Tonight they opened playing a short, but satisfying set comprised mainly from tracks from their debut album The Day’s War. I was instantly hooked by the five piece’s intense, yet down to earth performance; in particular during Backroads and Trick of The Light, which are powerful songs with such a sense of dramatism that they would sound just as perfect filling large arenas.
The second performance of the night came from Eliza and The Bear; a relatively new indie band from London, who have also been been making a splash in the UK music scene over the last year largely thanks to support slots with the likes of Paramore. Their psychedelic set was hypnotising to watch, with tracks such as Make It On My Own and Upon The North akin in feel to Imagine Dragons. The only thing that I was not so keen on was their lack of live brass on stage. As a band who use trumpet lines in so many of their songs, it would have been nice to see someone playing the instrument along side them on the stage; but then again, they are still early in their music career and I can see their performances becoming bigger and better with time.
Finally; time for the headliners; Twin Atlantic. If you choose an epic classic to come on stage to, such as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody; it is always a risk that you may not live up to the audience’s expectations. However; Twin Atlantic did just this, and they killed it! As the band played a jam packed set full of corkers such as Make A Beast of Myself, Free and I Am An Animal; I found it genuinely difficult to believe that this is a band who are still relatively young in their music career (only three albums in). Live, they perform with all the tightness and maturity of artists who have been around for twice as long, but still manage to keep it fresh and fun. Front man Sam McTrusty is also a big draw to their live performance, as his husky Scottish vocals are somewhat powerful yet endearing; perfectly unique. Ending their set on perhaps two of their biggest sing-alongs Brothers and Sisters and Heart and Soul; the band leave a happy buzz amongst the audience, and I can’t help but feel the venue feels less like a gig full of strangers, and more like a room full of friendly faces.