Twin Atlantic // Declan Welsh & The Decadent West // Dead Pony // Live Review // O2 Academy // Bristol

Dead Pony

 

The first of three acts on tonight’s all-Glaswegian bill, post-punkers Dead Pony storm through their half-hour slot with infectious energy, epitomised by the pace at which frontwoman Anna Shields bounds between her bandmates. Mad Max chase-scene-inspired latest single Bullet Farm is an absolute stomper on the big stage, 23, Never Me is a fuzzy, riotous high-octane earworm that burrows its way in, ratcheting up the tension before expending everything on a final all-out blowout of an ending chorus. Dead Pony is easily one of my favourite live discoveries of the year, so keep your eyes peeled should you have the opportunity to cross paths.

Anna Shields: lead vocals, guitar

Blair Crichton: guitar

Liam Adams: bass

Declan Welsh & The Decadent West

 

“It’s nice to invade England. There’s a kinda catharsis to it!” Declan Welsh jokes midway through a set possessed with enough fervour it could bring down what’s left of Hadrian’s Wall. Welsh’s ability to strum an axe and pitch his vocals whilst his hips and shoulders move in opposing directions is nothing short of impressive, as he actively demonstrates amid the swinging, haunted disco vibes evoked by How Does Your Love. New single Impermanence is another highlight; spacey guitars and spitting vocals, uplifting choruses and a real crunch in the middle. It’s all over in 25 minutes, but that’s all Declan Welsh & The Decadent West need to make their mark.

 

Declan Welsh: lead vocals, guitar
Duncan McBride: guitar
Ben Corlett: bass
Murray Noble: drums

Twin Atlantic

 

Twin Atlantic’s current tour celebrates the tenth anniversary of the release of the now gold-certified Free, an album which really thrust the Glesga alt-rockers into the public eye back in 2011. Yeah, that’s eleven years ago, but there’s probably at least one recent year we’re collectively suppressing from memory, so all’s forgiven. The crowd knows what they’ll be getting – they’re treated to Free in its original thirteen-track form, played flawlessly, in order and with zeal. Twin Atlantic are watertight, sing with urgency, and hammer home huge riffs between uplifting anthemic choruses that are unsurprisingly echoed back word for word throughout. Title track Free is the one that has most arms sweeping skyward, causing the air in the room to briefly contain more beer than oxygen, whilst The Ghost of Eddie is played with such thunder it probably has local dogs hiding behind sofas. It’s fair to assume the majority of the crowd has a connection with this album, I spy a guy in a Rangers shirt so involved he seems oblivious to the fact his team are playing in a European final at the same moment, but it’s also clear it’s a sentiment shared by the band. After tearing through the album closer We Want Better, Man, Twin Atlantic return and rewards the gathered faithful with an extended seven-song encore largely comprised of singles released since Free. 2021’s Bang On The Gong is so drenched in chicken scratch funk it’s probably responsible for wearing down plenty of knee cartilage, and in doing so it hints at a new direction in sound whilst still sounding characteristic of the band. The final slot is reserved for Heart and Soul though, Twin Atlantic’s 2014 foray into the top 20 and their most Spotified song by some distance, it’s enthusiastically boomed back at the stage. It’s been 90 minutes of heartfelt effort, and at least one Rangers fan is having a good night.

Sam McTrusty: lead vocals/guitar

Ross McNae: bass

 

 

 

REVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHY: ROB CARMIER

 

Scottish-rock powerhouse, Twin Atlantic, celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their seminal BRIT Certified Gold album ‘Free’ with a limited-edition deluxe vinyl. Spawning singles such as ‘Make A Beast Of Myself, ‘Yes I Was Drunk’, and the soundtrack to the astonishing Red Bull Stratos jump, ‘Free’, the album catapulted the Glasgow natives from local clubs to headlining theatres across the world.

“Free is the album that turned music into something we would live for the rest of our lives” the band reminisce. “It holds a special place between carefree youthful hobby and the reason we still get up in the morning. As four people we were silently tuned to the same belief and way of life. This record is us coming together in the most distilled form. It opened the door to so many adventures that are burned into our souls. This is without doubt the most important part of our journey not just as a band but as people.”

Including four previously unreleased live tracks from O2 Academy Glasgow and Glasgow Barrowland, the release of ‘Free’ is the band’s first ever vinyl edition of the album, pressed on a limited-edition blue vinyl, with a limited run signed by all 4 original members.

Track listing
Side A
Edit Me
Time For You To Stand Up
Apocalyptic Renegade
Yes, I Was Drunk
Dreamember

Side B
Free
Crash Land
Make a Beast of Myself
The Ghost of Eddie
Serious Underground Dance Vibes

Side C
Eight Days
Wonder Sleeps Here
We Want Better, Man

Side D (additional unreleased live tracks)
Free (Live from Glasgow Barrowland)
Ghost of Eddie (Live from O2 Academy Glasgow)
Crash Land (Live from O2 Academy Glasgow)
Make a Beast (Live from O2 Academy Glasgow)

About Twin Atlantic
Soaring Scottish alternative rock outfit Twin Atlantic was formed in the city of Glasgow in 2007 around the talents of Sam McTrusty, Ross McNae, Barry McKenna, and Craig Kneale. The band released Vivarium in 2010 and followed it up with Free in 2011. The following year they were invited to play on the popular Vans Warped Tour in America before returning to the U.K. for a handful of support slots with pop-punk giants blink-182. In 2014 their third album, The Great Divide, was released midway through the year. The band spent much of 2015 playing the major summer music festivals in the U.K., including Glastonbury and T in the Park, and in 2016 they began work on their fourth full-length effort. The album, titled GLA, was released in September 2016. Heralded by the candid, intimate single “Novocaine,” the group returned in 2020 for their fifth LP. Titled ‘POWER’, and inspired by “colours, moods, [and] memories,” it arrived in January 2020. Fast forward to January 2022 and ‘Transparency’ was released to the world, earning the band their fifth consecutive UK Top 40 album.

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