The Late Show

The Twilight Sad, Dundee 31-03-08 (1)

I’ve been keen to catch the Twilight Sad live for some time particularly since their all too brief support slot with Idlewild in October. Last night’s gig at the Doghouse finally gave me that opportunity although the band don’t actually make it onstage until a time by which I had hoped to be back home. After a tiring week, that is not a plus!

Unsurprisingly now expanded to a 5 piece, the Twilight Sad live experience is no less ferocious even if the live sound has been broadened to something approximating the LP’s grandeur with the addition of keyboards and extra guitars.

Singer James Graham however remains the live focus and gave a performance that bordered on the possessed. Even amongst the wall of noise, his singing was so powerful and intense that it dominated proceedings whilst more than most performers he appeared lost in the maelstrom surrounding him throughout the show.

At only 8 songs, the band still found time to introduce 2 new songs (and no, I’ve no idea what they’re called) with the rest of the set culled from the debut LP. Disappointingly there was no Pixies cover presumably because they didn’t play an encore.

It may be just as well that the show was the last on the tour as it was beset by technical problems. More than half of drummer Mark’s kit is replaced during the show (something I have never, ever, seen before) whilst to round things off bass player Craig snapped a string during I’m Taking The Train Home. That litany of kit abuse surely means that no further proof is needed of this band’s ferocity.

The Twilight Sad setlist

1. Talking With Fireworks/ Here, It Never Snowed 2. (New) 3. That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy 4. Walking For 2 Hours 5. (New) 6. And She Would Darken The Memory 7. I’m Taking The Train Home 8. Cold Days From The Birdhouse

Support came from 2 Dundee based outfits. I’d heard of the Hazey Janes before and had this notion of typically Scottish indie band from the Byrds/Big Star/Teenage Fanclub lineage. There’s some truth in that but they’re a bit more poppier and modern than that. They started and finished extremely well but somewhere in between they lost some momentum.

Openers the Trade are heavily influenced by mid 70s heavy rock, which as regular readers can imagine isn’t my cup of tea. But they are very good at what they do and they have a set of fairly strong songs. What makes the set though is the absolutely bonkers crowd. I have never, ever seen a third on the bill band garner such a reaction before, even allowing for the fact that a good percentage must have been friends and family. Oh and they’re shitloads better than the much hyped Black Mountain, no worries.

A repeat from the Twilight Sad:

The Twilight Sad – ‘That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy’ (from ‘Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters’) [Buy it] [Download it]

I’ll try and sort out some more photos from the gig in the next couple of days.

The Twilight Sad are supposed to be playing Dunfermline, Carnegie Hall on 15th May with Frightened Rabbit as part of Tigerfest 08 (although it’s not listed on their Myspace at the moment). Idlewild play the same venue on Saturday 17th supported by Foxface.