Who: Twilight Sad (with Talons and Airship) Where: Scala, London When: 29th October Wandering through Kings Cross of an evening can be an odd experience at the best of times but en-route to this gig the inhabitants of the area seemed slightly weirder than usual. Dodging my way through a number of zombies, apparent knife-attack victims and slutty nurses I found myself wondering what the fuck was going on. By the time I had got into the Scala I had realised the time of year but was still left thinking a.) Why the hell are students dressing up for Halloween on a Thursday night when this year it falls on a Saturday? and b.) Thank God I'm not heading to a fancy dress do but instead am off to what I was highly anticipating being a top night of live music. Talons brought their noisy hardcore instrumental fanfare along to kick off proceedings and managed to just about squeeze themselves on what was a rather cosy stage rammed with equipment. It was a short and tight set which seemed to go down reasonably well with the pretty sparse crowd. By the close of their set they had built up quite an energy and were really fizzing, but, as with any 'instrumental' act I seem to miss something in it(the something being vocals). They were alright and different, just not really my thing. After what seemed like a lightning quick turnover Airship took to the stage. Theirs is a sound you probably know and probably like. It's radio friendly indie-pop, what else? Whilst it was nothing new, it was a really pleasant set and it would be very harsh on the band to give them a bad review. Without ever really setting the crowd off they put in a good shift and again closed strongly with the final two songs by far the strongest of the set. Then following what seemed like an epic changeover, came the headline act, Twilight Sad. Halfway through the opener 'Reflection of the Television' from new album 'Forget The Night Ahead' there had been a clear step up in confidence and sound. Their set included the best of both the band's records to date, 'Cold Days From The Birdhouse', 'That Summer, At Home, I Became the Invisible Boy' were immense. Recent singles 'I Became A Prostitute' and 'Seven Years of Letters' both also work well live. But the standout track was 'Talking With Fireworks' which burned with such intensity it was almost palpable. Overall, this was a very tight performance. The driving drums, pounding bass and screaming guitars were all executed to a tee but the evening belonged to front man James Graham. The man is nothing short of captivating on stage, yet seems to encompass a series of dichotomies (and I don't use that term often!)... Whilst appearing slightly terrifying in person (he's a big lad... Glaswegian... Skinhead... has a visible scar...) he also comes across as boyish and charming and seemingly shocked and touched people actually like his band. In addition to that there's his apparent lack of stage confidence. Whilst performing he stares at the floor, the roof, the walls but never the crowd... Yet, the absolute ferocious intensity with which the man belts out a tune suggests that he just cannot possibly lack self confidence... Whatever is going on, it works and makes Graham a very interesting character to watch perform. After an hour of a very enjoyable, yet darkly intense set, the band left the stage only to return for a single track encore. 'I'm Taking The Train Home' built into a 10minute ear splitting wall of noise that, I kid you not, had some bloke in front of me standing there watching with his fingers in his ears. Despite the physical discomfort the boy was in he still couldn't tear himself away from the band. Sensational stuff. (Sorry, owing to a camera failure there was no photography from me for this gig, but hop on over here to see a gallery of pics from the evening) What say you on this? Sound off in our Forum!