Review of The Twilight Sad live at Nottingham Bodega, 24th October 2009.
Some things are worth making that extra bit of effort for, so with plans gradually diminishing for this evening thanks to being stuck somewhere in the confines of the capital just a couple of hours before The Twilight Sad are due to take the stage, a sudden bout of urgency (not to mention occasionally breaking the odd speed limit or two) is required. Fortunately, we arrive at the venue literally just in time to see the band's arrival, and judging by the lack of space about the Bodega, the buzz around the Kilsyth outfit has reached phenomenal levels.
Indeed compare this to their last couple of visits to the city and you'd be hard pressed to find more than fifty souls on each occasion. Tonight though feels like the start of something special, which is perhaps a tad ironic as sophomore album 'Forget The Night Ahead' hasn't quite achieved the gushing acclaim all across the board that its predecessor 'Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters' managed two years ago.
Nevertheless, The Twilight Sad rarely fails to deliver as a live force to be reckoned with and tonight is no exception. The opening squall of 'Reflection Of The Television', almost twice as piercing not to mention excessively louder than its recorded counterpart, provides a harrowing entrÃ©e to proceedings that takes on an even more sinister edge as its outro descends into what can only be described as 'You Made Me Realise' "holocaust" territory due to drummer Mark Devine breaking a snare and departing the stage to fetch one from their van for what seems like an eternity.
Parity is restored by 'That Summer At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy' and 'Mapped By What Surrounded Them''s familiar entwines, vocalist James Graham eschewing an unrivalled degree of intensity that captivates and terrifies in equal measures. Of the newer material, forthcoming single 'Seven Years Of Letters' and 'The Room' both prove a suitable match for the band's earlier works albeit in a slightly more musically subtle manner, while 'Made To Disappear' and its opulently winsome chorus shows a more intrinsic side to their songwriting than people had perhaps given them credit for.
However, it is left to the closing double whammy of 'And She Would Darken The Memory' and 'Cold Days From The Birdhouse' to evidently demonstrate just what an important band The Twilight Sad are, and even though they represent possibly the two oldest compositions in their current live set, its difficult to imagine any reason why anyone would ever get tired of hearing such examples of musical ingenuity, or indeed tire of seeing their creators in the flesh when they're on such dynamic form as this evening.
Business as usual then, which is, as expected, buoyantly booming.