DAVID HOLLAND chats to and reviews up and coming rockers Twin Atlantic at The Haymakers.
The Haymakers, Tuesday 25th. £7.
We met in a car park behind a pub; an underwhelming experience considering we were meeting a band who have recently supported Blink 182, Angels & Airwaves and My Chemical Romance. The tour bus and the brilliantly named (and annoyingly good-looking) lead singer, Sam McTrusty, and drummer Craig Kneale was all very rock and roll.
We grabbed a quick few minutes with them before they went off for their dinner, no Michelin-starred imported stuff, just grub in the pub: drinking beers, meeting fans and chilling in the crowd for the support groups.
‘Smack the pope.’
‘So that’s the official Twin Atlantic advice on how to achieve fame?’
‘Aye, smack the pope.’ They cite luck as one of the key factors behind their success. Their material was fortunately played to a friend at Tom DeLonge’s label and from there, they got their biggest supporting slots.
Touring with massive rock names taught them to ‘lighten up’. They started as friends making music together and when I asked if it now felt more commercial there was a slightly uneasy pause. ‘Touring with [big bands] has taught us to take ourselves less seriously than we used to’, my ten year-old self was glad to hear that being in a band didn’t feel ‘like a real job.’
Of the 20 people in The Haymakers, half seemed to know/work for/want to bed members of Twin Atlantic. It looked like a normal night at the pub; not like a gig by one of the hottest trending bands to be played on Radio 1 this year; a phenomenon the guys cheerfully referred to as: ‘trendy’.
The evening worked it’s way through a probably excessive three hours of support acts, peaking at around 100 spectators.
When Twin Atlantic finally took to the stage there was certainly an ‘atmosphere,’ one of quiet expectation. They thrashed out their eclectic guitar driven rock, with Sam’s mournful mix of long Scottish vowels and frantic chanting. As a live act these guys are right up there. It’s almost a cliché, but they really do put everything into their performance.
‘This one goes out to Lucy; she’s got a Twin Atlantic tattoo on her actual fuckin’ head.’ It’s clear they have made some die-hard fans, but weirdly, not everyone at The Haymakers realised what outstanding performers they were watching.
The current single Edit Me, the near anthropological You’re Turning Into John Wayne and the driving Human After All received a modest round of applause and the occasional whistle. A lot of the gig was taken up with unfamiliar material for their forthcoming album, Free, but the audience was slightly unsettling. I felt guilty for not singing along.
Sam put it pretty well: ‘you guys are either quietly appreciative or in awe of just how fuckin’ shit we are… it’s real fuckin’ intimidating.’
I really don’t want to be critical of Twin Atlantic. This was just a pretty surreal gig. Unfairly one of my overriding memories is Sam chanting the lyrics ‘is there anybody out there… but me?’ I’m sure there was, just why only a quiet few turned up is far beyond me.
Photography by Abi Lander