Gig review: The Twang, Leadmill, 28/02/14

Unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to see the support acts, writes music-loving Sheffield Live listener, volunteer and gig correspondent Jade Knox, but I arrived promptly for 9:15 to see Birmingham six-piece The Twang.

I was a little concerned when I walked towards the venue to see five police vans, two horses and a handful of police cars but nothing terrible seemed to be occurring.

The atmosphere from the moment I walked in was like nothing I’d witnessed at a gig before, it had the air of a football match more than a music performance with a lot of testosterone and chanting. There were more windbreakers and track jackets than an Oasis fan club and I can imagine the venue took a good amount of money on just Red Stripe alone.

I was glad to see a great variance in the age of fans; this certainly just wasn’t a gig for just the young ‘uns. Despite being stood almost at the back the whole room was filled to the brim so I still got a taste for being amongst the crowds.

The band kicked off and so did the fans, with general rowdy excitement which I’m certain was harmless. This kind of hooligan, Britpop subculture is one that I’d never seen besides on television but it is very present and definitely didn’t die in the 90’s.

It was a little scary that vocalist and guitarist Phil Etheridge made an announcement during the gig to “keep the peace” which suggested to me there had been a couple of incidents at previous venues during the tour. From what I could tell the rowdiness was just alcohol induced enthusiasm and passion, boys lifted girls on to their shoulders and everybody got together to celebrate the music.

Martin Saunders looked like he was having the most amazing time of his life and was easily comparable to a modern day Bez, The Twang actually had a very Happy Mondays vibe in several ways.

Musically the group did not disappoint playing the most popular tracks mixed in with some new material; everybody seemed to adore the set. It was a great performance and I eagerly await the release of their new album N E O N T W A NG on the 10th of March.