Masked mystery-man Brolin was the first to appear on stage. Early in his career Brolin had made a point of not revealing his identity and not performing live, it was a pleasant surprise to find him performing with a single drummer on stage for support. On record Brolin demonstrates great poise and restraint, his songs are minimal but emotional. It's disappointing therefore that he fails to transmit much of this quality to his live performance. His normally reserved songs are left feeling a little shambolic and he lacks a certain stage presence. The quality of his material carried him through to a certain extent and I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the set. However I was left an dissatisfaction and a feeling that it all could have been so much better.


The last time I had seen Twin Shadow they had been a definite disappointment. Some of the blame for this can be laid down at occasion they were performing at, the awful Field Day festival, but ultimately the group were a boring and uninspired live act that failed to distinguish themselves above the crowd. However I was willing to tentatively take a punt that the band could pull through for me this time. The group having just released a new album, that has heralded in a brighter, more bombastic sound. I hoped that this 'power-pop' aesthetic would be enough to turn the group into an enthralling live act.


I was at least partially right. Twin Shadow were certainly loud and exciting. From the the moment they stepped onto the stage they barely let up in blasting out their music with a wanton power and careless sense of fun that made them a rather compelling listen. There was so much to hear here, each instrument sounded like it was being pushed to the end of it's capability to blast out poppy sounds. This eagerness from Twin Shadow to sound 'big' did make them an impressive live act but also lead some elements of the bands sound getting lost in the noise. The drum and synths were so very loud that it became somewhat difficult to even make out the guitar and vocal. As the band is essentially the solo project of George Lewis being able to properly hear what he's playing is a big part of the performance.


But then, I'm not really sure that actually being able to properly hear what individual instruments were playing was really the point here. I mean, to be honest who really cares about the subtleties of the music. This isn't about wanking over intricate melodies but blasting out 'indie-pop choons' at full volume and with as much verve and enthusiasm as possible. At this objective Twin Shadow are a rousing success. If you're only seeking something poignant and meaningful then don't bother, however if you're looking for a relentless assault of fun then you can't go wrong.









Brolin