The Twilight Sad / Frightened Rabbit @ The Liquid Room, 14 Aug
Beguiling and hilarious in equal measure
The Liquid Room suits Frightened Rabbit well tonight, though their burgeoning popularity ensures that a good viewing spot quickly becomes a closely guarded commodity. But even after a thorough work-through of a surprisingly strong set for a band just two albums in, singer Scott Hutchison manages to evoke a more intimate vibe when he emerges for a solitary and completely unplugged encore of Poke, perhaps their most beautiful song. The audience participation of the requisite ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ is unexpected and spine-tingling, until some drunken banter erupts pockets of laughter around the venue. Hutchison takes it well though; “Are you laughing at my pain?” he jests. Harmony is re-established with a darkly-beautiful Keep Yourself Warm, a sombre crowd sing-a-long about ‘getting yer hole’. Beguiling and hilarious in equal measure.
The Twilight Sad, by contrast, are as austere as Auschwitz. From the opening strains of a looped Aidan Moffat phone prank to the blistering finale of I’m Taking The Train Home, with singer James Graham silently and ominously mouthing to himself amidst the crescendo, eyes lolled back inside his head, strobe light exploding into a universe behind him, they are an unstoppable force. The sheer wall-of-sound is at times deafening and distracting, but moments such as the re-vamped, ethereal intro to Cold Days From The Birdhouse prove they have more of a dynamic range than just loud and LOUD! An obligatory line about the Scottish music scene and ‘good health’ seems in order here. [Darren Carle]