My Bloody Valentine deafened half the population of Scotland earlier this year with an astonishing comeback set at the Glasgow Barrowlands. And it seems the magnificent Twilight Sad have put paid to the ears of those still able to hold a proper conversation.
Not even Hoover Dam could contain the typhoon of noise that rages out the band’s speakers, decimating everything in its path, so it’s no surprise that at the relatively humble Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh, vocalist, James Graham’s microphone refuses to let his colloquial laments be heard. It does put of a bit of a damper on an impressive entrance that sees the band emerge from the darkness to launch into a kidney-stone zapping Walking For Two Hours. But the restart after a quick mic swap sees Cumbernauld’s finest soon flow into a relentless cavalcade that never lets up, and blasts away all competition for the best live band in the country.
For that is what they are. And by quite some margin too. Not since the majestic orchestration of Hope of the States have a British act quite so enthralled with a live show that makes every second as exhilarating as over-taking Lewis Hamilton in an F1 car whilst watching Die Hard. And eating a meatball sub.
With a set made up of material mainly from their multi-album of the year winning Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, the transfixed crowd can only lap it up and leave begging for more. Cold Days from the Bird House is a genuine contender for the greatest Scottish song ever, and it could only ever be the ultimate highlight here. Graham’s vocals show their phenomenal versatility, with a haunting vulnerability to commence, only to culminate in such an angry, visceral roar.
This passion doesn’t manifest itself in audience interaction however. But such affairs would only ruin the intensity of such a fervid performance, as guitars make sounds only thought possible by jumbo jets, and Graham domineers the stage, firmly assured of the awesome presentation of their glorious music.
Every show by The Twilight Sad just gets more and more spectacular. And each review gets harder and harder to write as superlatives are used up, and the metaphors just don’t quite describe the resplendence of an hour in their company. Expect any more reviews of their work to read “just see them for God’s sake!” It may be the only way to fully understand.