Live Review: Twin Atlantic (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 24/04/12)

Churned out in about 15 minutes, without even knowing band members’ names, nor song titles for the ‘Magazine in a Day’ challenge at Southampton Solent University, in 2012. Can the music journalism students create an entire issue of AUDIO ADDICT in one day? As it turns out, yes, as we did so in seven hours. Given longer, this could have been a lot better, but I couldn’t resist uploading this, as a symbol of our achievement, having witnessed the current undergrads face the same challenge today.


Turning the background music up to get a crowd excited before they take to the stage is standard practice. When a band chooses ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, they are under a fair bit of pressure to live up to something of such epic proportions. Tonight, Scottish rock foursome Twin Atlantic are on a mission to prove to a packed Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms that they are the band for the job, and give it a damn good go.

Touring their second album Free, Twin Atlanticperform with driving guitars, but have a casual looseness, making even the harshest of vocal cord crushing screeches sound somewhat playful. There is a buzzing atmosphere, with title track ‘Free’ standing out in particular, performed with overwhelming power, which threatens to collapse the back wall of the venue.

Even when the music cools, the venue doesn’t follow suit and that energy refuses to leave. During the encore, just frontman Sam McTrusty and guitarist Barry McKenna, having swapped his guitar for a cello, take to the stage to perform a wonderfully poignant acoustic duet version of ‘Crash Land’. The vocals are a heartfelt cry for aid as McTrusty feels alone, and the audience takes no time to help out, who in a heated battle against the sound system, successfully drown out the band. It is perhaps the calmest track ever to call for everyone to shout ‘we’re fucked’.

These are songs written to be howled along to. There are enough tunes tonight with ‘woah’ and ‘oh yeah’ chants to suggest that they write with their effects when performed live in mind. Twin Atlantic go all out on a mission to put on a show that can be a raw ecstatic frenzy, yet get away with a classical music tinted ballad hither and thither. Their mission is definitely accomplished.

Score: 7/10

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