Twin Atlantic

support Shogun Assassins
author TL date 03/06/11 venue KB18, Copenhagen, DEN

After hearing a good while ago that Twin Atlantic would be gracing Copenhagen with a headlining show, I went through a number of phases. First I was very excited, having heard and loved both of the band's two fine records. Soon, however, I began to fear that it would be a show in an empty venue, since the band, as far as I could tell, had no presence whatsoever here in Denmark. Then I realized that the show would be free as a part of this years over-grown Distortion Festival, which has almost the entirety of Copenhagen out partying on the street, and that made me fear that the venue would actually be packed with people coming out to just give a band a chance because they were out anyway.

So eventually, I make sure to go to the venue as close to the door time at 20:00 as possible, hoping that it will not be too crazy with people already. I get there and, well, let me put it this way. Population of the venue at this time includes: myself, my company of five, the venue employees and the bands. As it turns out, even at its most numerous, the crowd tonight is going to be consistently dwarfed by that dancing around in oblivion, at some sort of elevator-music show that's taking place outside. A bummer, sure, but at least Twin Atlantic singer Sam McTrusty has time to say hi, and tell us how happy he is to hear that we graded the band's Groezrock appearance a 7, when the band themselves thought more of it as a 2. We also learn that the bands are having technical difficulties, and that the sets could be somewhat delayed.

Shogun Assassins

In point of fact, tonight's supporting band, the local trio Shogun Assassins, don't get to go on till around 10 PM, a good hour's time after they were originally slotted to play. Fortunately for them, it has given time for at least a small crowd to gather, and hence we are at least around ten curious onlookers when the band kicks off. Unfortunately, Shogun Assassins, try as they might, do not seem to have it in them to reward us hopeful few, what with their rendition of garage-rock appearing nothing but ordinary in the least flattering sense of the word. Granted, they are not helped by the somewhat blurry mix, which leaves the vocals low, nor by their own static and personality-lacking stage show, but even if things had been in order in these two departments, I think the band would still have been challenged to keep listeners interested. Their straight-forward rock is simply neither here nor there, and at no time does one get the feeling that the band has anything very interesting they intend to express. I guess if you like things that are no frills then Shogun Assassins are your band, but from what I see tonight, save for an occasional wobbly guitar solo or a dash of cool drum work, I can't honestly say that I think this band is headed anywhere. It pains me to be so hard on bands their size, but unless they at least try to come up with some ideas at least a little more novel, I'm afraid they best get used to playing venues and crowds either this size or smaller.

Twin Atlantic

After the obligatory break the Scottish headliners finally grace the stage, still about an hour behind schedule. The crowd has increased to around twenty/thirty people, which is embarrassingly few (as in; fellow Danes, please get into good music), but still it's a lot better than the five people we were when we got here. In any event, the band seems intent to handle the scenario like men, as they launch into set-opener "Free" with a kind of energy that you'd think they would reserve for bigger audinces. A quite admirable thing I think, considering that there are only two other shows left on their tour. On my own part, I've had enough beers by now to decide to also rock out like more people were doing it with me, which someone would probably find a bit awkward, considering how the remaining audience restrains itself to appreciative head-bobbing.

And so the show proceeds, with me dancing, singing and air-guitaring on the spot, with the remaining audience looking on in a more chilled out fashion, and with the band bravely ignoring that they aren't playing to rapturous applause from a legion of dedicated fans. As with Shogun Assassins, the sound isn't exactly perfect, which unfortunately makes McTrusty's singing somewhat indecipherable, making it even harder for the curious audience to familiarize themselves with the band's songs. Indeed it is even a little hard to understand every word of the frontman's friendly attempts at in-between song banter. If one disregards the circumstances however, the show is actually pretty good. Like I said, the band performs with good amounts of energy and precision, and treat us all to a healthy serving of tracks from both of their releases. In fact, apart from the sound needing some improvement, all that is really lacking to set this show off is a bigger audience. Because no matter how good Twin Atlantic are, it is abundantly clear that a really good show is a celebration of songs with shared input from both a band and a crowd. For their part, Twin Atlantic go as far as they can go with no reception worth speaking of, potentially sending a few curious minds home to seek out some online tunes, and handling this up-hill battle as good as anyone could expect. One can only hope however, that the band gives Denmark another chance in the future, and that we can then return the favour with a more appropriate turnout.

Setlist:

  • 1. Free
  • 2. Edit Me
  • 3. The Ghost Of Eddie
  • 4. Lightspeed
  • 5. Carribean War Syndrome
  • 6. Eight Days
  • 7. Human After All
  • 8. Yes, I Was Drunk
  • 9. It's Time For You To Stand Up
  • 10. We Want Better, Man
  • 11. Old Grey Face
  • 12. Audience & Audio
  • 13. What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?
  • 14. You're Turning Into John Wayne

For more pictures of the show, courtesy of Lykke Nielsen Photography click here

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