Gig Review: Twin Shadow

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Twin Shadow

The Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
27th January 2011
Review by Stephen Donkin
Sometimes a single song can remind why you spend so much time hunting around the interwebs for new tunes, and drop all your available cash on importing 7” records from Canada, and suffer the dodgy looks from your boss as you slope off early to go to another midweek gig on the other side of the country. The opening song of Twin Shadow’s set at the Captain’s Rest on Thursday was one such song.
On record, Shooting Holes In The Moon is a sleek, wiry little pop song bathed in soft eighties synths a bit of funky bass, and mournful vocals singing a gorgeously nonchalant melody. Live, it was absolutely transformed into something altogether more muscular, loud, fast and…heavy. The tiny sweaty walls of the room were at bursting point, full with people expecting a bit of a bop, a wee singalong and to hear some songs of one of the best albums of the past couple of
months. What they got was an absolute tour-de-force in how to translate your record for live performance.
There was always a bit of suspicion about Twin Shadow, which is essentially one man, George Lewis Jr, that their popularity is as much a product of a massively popular man, who happens to be a great songwriter, than it is a result of a great songwriter becoming popular. However, the humility was written all over his face as he received a rapturous applause after every song from a clearly adoring audience. It became a bit of a love-in to be honest, with George reiterating at
every opportunity what a great gig it was, and the crowd reciprocating with gushing shout-outs.
Of course, there was more to the set than just the first song, as excellent as it was. The rest of the gig played out like a mini greatest hits set, with Castles in the Snow, Forget and Slow superseding their recorded versions in much the same as Shooting Holes in the Moon did. So let it be a lesson to all those bands out there who are obsessed with replicating every detail from their recordings: sometimes the song is just enough. And if it’s not, well….draw your own conclusion.
Twin Shadow: Website
This was a guest post by Stephen Donkin. Stephen is a member of Birdhead, who release an EP, Talons, soon. Thanks Stephen!