Twin Atlantic’s latest Scot-rock offering, GLA, is a record rooted not only in the city they call home, but in the idea that the places we come from mould and shape us as people. It’s an idea that could equally be applied to their live performances; being so completely at home in the energy and adrenaline of the stage is infused into their music.
Discovered at a freezing gig in Battersea Power Station, by an A&R who called it the “craziest gig he had ever witnessed,” they are and always have been a band best experienced in the flesh. While Sunday’s show at the Norwich Waterfront was the ideal venue for the band’s intense and animated brand of melodic pop-rock, the atmosphere in the audience failed to meet the foursome’s expectations. Frontman Sam McTrusty even paused at one point to implore, “Norwich, you’re better than this!” before demanding that we join him in “pretending that its Saturday night and we don’t have work in the morning.”
Disappointingly “polite crowd,” aside, they kicked off the set with songs from their recently released fourth album, with ‘You Are The Devil’ and ‘The Chaser’ working the place up into the stomping frenzy GLA demands from its listeners. But despite the raw power of these new releases, the band certainly couldn’t be accused of neglecting their back catalogue. They dove into a series of their most-loved material, beginning with ‘Edit Me’, and possibly their best-known anthem, 2011’s ‘Free’, before throwing it all the way back to 2009 with ‘Human After All’.
Howling their way through Vivarium’s ‘Lightspeed’ showed just how much McNae, Kneale, McTrusty and McKenna love playing live. 2014’s pop album Great Divide had a good outing as well, with ‘Fall Into The Party’, ‘Heart And Soul’, ‘Hold On’ and ‘I Am An Animal’ all going down a storm, and reminding the crowd how skillfully the band’s sound adapts to delivering hits.
However, it was McTrusty’s solo acoustic set – halfway through the show – that made the night so memorable. The intimate setting and stripped back vocals on GLA closer ‘Mothertongue’, followed by ‘Crash Land’, and ‘Ex El’ gave the show its emotional heart. The band closed the show with new song ‘No Sleep’, and judging by the clamour for an encore that never came, it’s safe to say no one was ready to see them go.