May 11, 2011
Having to write a live review on the fly, almost two weeks after it happened, from notes hastily scribbled, while packing to go to a festival will show us this is not the way to do things. There’s no time to go into detail, to labour the point, to draw comparisons between George Lewis Jr’s physical appearance (a little bit Prince, a little bit Morrissey), or the sound (a little bit Prince, a little bit Morrissey, albeit on a synth-sprung landscape). Twin Shadow, at least from this writer’s perspective, has adequately filled the gap that LCD Soundsystem left by their absence, in making music that moves and is moving, that is confident without being arrogant, and is just too perfect for words.
An album that appeared to fly under the radar of most music fans last year was Forget, Twin Shadow’s debut. A well-rounded excursion into 80’s urban synth-pop that was bleakly personal and intriguing in its presentation. It was also swiftly ignored by all at Webcuts, for no reason other than ‘we didn’t think much of “Castles In The Snow”. And it’s true. We watched the clip for the single, obliquely wondering what was it all about, and treated it like a girlfriend who bought home a dress that she adored but you couldn’t see what the fuss was about. Which had you looked a little closer, all would’ve been made clear.
A packed Scala in London can see what the fuss is about. It took a while, but Webcuts can see what the fuss is about too. Forget was given a near thorough airing, the songs sounding ponderous and delicate (in particular “Tyrant Destroyed” and the title track), fleshed out by the four-piece band. New material was given an airing, a track called “Circus Is Gone?”, share a similar melody from Pulp’s “Razzamatazz”, which as influences go, seemed more intentional than accidental and would appear totally within Twin Shadow’s remit. Apt that this would be one of the most enjoyable shows of 2011, much like Forget unexpectedly being one of the most enjoyable albums of 2010.
Setlist: Shooting Holes/Tyrant Destroyed/When We’re Dancing/I Can’t Wait/Circus Is Gone?/Yellow Balloon/Slow/Tether Beat/Castles In The Snow/Forget//Focus/At My Heels