[May 2, 2015] The Twilight Sad (Whelan's) (1 Viewer)

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Aiken Promotions present

THE TWILIGHT SAD

Whelan’s

2nd May 2015.



“The Twilight Sad approach the darker side of growing up with consideration and dignity, and manage to maintain a proper perspective. ‘As my bones grew, they did hurt/ They hurt really bad,’ an angst-filled songwriter from another generation once sang; the Twilight Sad do a tremendous job of remembering that ache.” - Pitchfork


Scots, as a rule, are not noted for their emotional communication; straying rarely from a sort of safe – albeit repressed - stoicism. So when James Graham stood before a sold out London venue earlier this year, awed by the level of support for his band, it was really quite a spectacle to see the Twilight Sad frontman fighting back the tears as he thanked the crowd from the bottom of his heart. A decade after the band first started playing together and seven years after the release of their debut album, the band had decided to tour Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters in its entirety across the UK to coincide with its vinyl re-release.


The shows saw fans flying in from countries as far flung as the USA, Israel and all across Europe to catch them. “If I'm honest I didn't realise how special the gigs would be and just how much that album means to people,” Graham says. “We'd had a pretty rough year as a band in 2013 and that was the first time we'd toured this year, so to see so many people come out and support the band at those gigs was a really big thing for us. We're very lucky that the people who like our band travelled far and wide to see us and we want to make sure that it's worth it every time we play.”


Fourteen Autumns is something of a paradox. Such is its status as a classic amongst long-time followers of the band that it feels much older than its seven years, while each listen carries with it something new and thrilling.


Indeed, Pitchfork noted the band’s instant familiarity coupled with their ability to take this in “unexpected and exciting directions”. Its wildly dynamic production sees cascading walls of sound give way to quiet moments of sombre reflection, Graham’s thick Glaswegian accent and evocative storytelling a powerful display of anger, sadness and despair. The themes of childhood angst and suffering suggest a confessional folk record, but transposed onto Andy MacFarlane’s shoegaze-influenced guitars and Mark Devine’s powerhouse drumming Fourteen Autumns is something else entirely. While the band didn’t become an overnight chart-topping sensation the vast level of critical acclaim and constant calls from fans hungry for vinyl (eventually spurring its re-release) highlighted how important a part of their career the record has become.


Forget The Night Ahead was released in 2009, a discordant and gloriously unsettling followup to the band’s debut. Graham wrote at the time: “One thing that I can promise is that the lyrics are very dark, but you might have to look into them a bit to realise. They are mainly based around things that have happened to me over the past two years, revolving around losing people and being none too proud or happy with myself about my antics and situations I’ve found myself in. So if you’re looking for a record with a lot of hope and happy songs then fuck off, cause you won’t find it here with us!” Once more, it drew praise from across the press, NME lauding its “much darker ambience, with big melodies and vast romantic landscapes”, while The AV Club wrote that it showed “a band capable of muscling up without losing a fascination with fragile, fleeting moments”.


In February 2012, the band brought out their third studio album No One Can Ever Know. It marked a significant shift in direction, eschewing the previously dominant wall of sound production in favour of what MacFarlane called a “colder, slightly militant feel”. Its more electronic arrangements took influence from the likes of Public Image Ltd, Liars and krautrock pioneers Can, with electronic producer Andrew Weatherall (Primal Scream, Fuck Buttons) acting as a consultant during the album’s studio inception.



Tickets priced €17 (inc booking fee) go on sale Wednesday 5th November at 9am through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.
 

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