17th April, 2012
Most bands, by now, have realised that the best way to get their crowd warmed up and excited for their show isn’t a mind-blowing support band, it’s a killer intro. Over the past few years I’ve witnessed the Jaws theme, Straight Outta Compton and, in a fantastically inappropriate situation, some Whitney Houston. Tonight at the KOKO though, Twin Atlantic take the biscuit. Six minutes of pure, unadulterated kareoke takes place as Bohemian Rhapsody is played over the PA. There’s even a Wayne’s World-esque group headbang during that guitar riff. A truly commendable show, and the band haven’t taken to stage yet.
When they do come out to the ethereal riffs of Yes, I Was Drunk, the four-piece storm their way through a collection of the best from their latest album ‘Free’ to an absolutely storming response. The energy on both sides of the crowd barrier is unrelenting; the deafening singalongs carry on the entire way through the set. Old favourites like What Is Light? Where Is Laughter? and Lightspeed are sprinkled in amongst newer tracks, and we’re treated to a preview of a brand new song (Lost Ones, just as anthemic as anything Twin Atlantic have ever written, I assure you).
It’s the encore tonight that proves to be the most memorable stage of the evening. Frontman Sam McTrusty implores everyone to get up on their friends’ shoulders for a hallowing solo acoustic version of You’re Turning Into John Wayne. A poignant Crash Land has voices echoing all around the caverns of the venue. Tonight’s closer is album title track Free and provides a stunning glimpse at exactly how good British music can be. Wall-to-wall, Londonders put on their best Braveheart voices and damn near bust a lung in what is quite honestly one of the most memorable singalongs I have ever witnessed. Biffy who?