A review of Twin Atlantic and Ironworks, Inverness on the  14th of April, 2012 by Frank Finlayson. Photos by Thomas Bisset.

Twin Atlantic would appear to be a band perpetually knocking out sublime gigs but are now also knocking on the door of mainstream success.

Tonight’s proceedings were kicked off by ME. No, not me, but a band called ME from Australia. A long way to come for a support spot, but from such distance you would expect we would maybe get something a little special, and that we did. Their melodic, anthemic pop fused a bit of Muse with a chunk of The Feeling, but without the overt campness that you would possibly anticipate.

Lead singer Luke Ferris strutting on stage set well to accompany his vocal gymnastics. Michael Godde, on bass, got in on the act taking over the drums at one point. These lively antipodeans know how to perform, and tonight they hit the high notes with the crowd, and there were a re lot of high notes. Just hope these guys are about festival season…

Lower Than Atlantis took up the baton at this point with a staggered entrance from drummer, bass, guitar and ultimately lead, Mike Duce. With a youthful audience very much in tune to the likes of You Me At Six and Attack!A ttack! this was very much music to their ears. They bounced, the audience bounced – simple really.

A set full of blood, sweat and tears with a lot coming from the floor, well, certainly a lot of sweat. On any other night they would have been worthy headliners; they got the crowd fist pumping, sitting down, jumping up and got them going to a bit of the Foo Fighters. I’m sure I could see a mini mosh pit forming in the swirl of bodies too. With a 12 quid ticket in your back pocket you could say that you’d got your money’s worth already but it wasn’t time to go home.

Before the arrival of Twin Atlantic, the older, and you could say wiser, heads had migrated to the back of the room. You see the appeal of Twin Atlantic does appear to go beyond that youthful audience that you would expect, well in the Highlands anyway. I think so many have followed them from those humble beginnings in the Seedlings tent at Belladrum. As a precursor to the mayhem, the crowd were singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of their voices. The set opener was ‘Yes, I was Drunk’ which eased both the band and the crowd through the gears. It was a night of highs and, well, highs as Sam McTrusty and co drove through a high octane set taking out all the highlights of Vivarium and Free, not that I am suggesting that there were ever any lowlights. Relentless and aided by superior lighting (that’s what success brings you these days) the temperature literally rose in comparison to the nippy night we were to endure later.

A set filled, and fulfilled, with the fist clenching, floor bouncing, ‘Caribbean War Syndrome’, ‘What is Light?’, ‘Edit Me’ and ‘Lightspeed’ was supplemented by a little gem Lost Ones, a new song, but certainly not out of place. By the time the set wound its way down through Human After All, Wonder Sleeps Here, and finally and triumphantly through to We Want Better Man you knew that this was a sweat soaked night to add to the volume that is Twin Atlantic.

The encore, or actually the four song set set to finish the night was well constructed and of particular mention. Sam took the stage to give heartfelt thanks to those that have followed them over the years. At least that is what it sounded like over the chatter that seems to descend over the Ironworks whenever an acoustic guitar appears, well at least at the back of the room, near the bar, you know what I mean. Anyway, order was restored following the opening notes of ‘You’re Turning Into John Wayne’. This, though, was an acoustic version as the rest of the band drew breath, but no less well received before Barry McKenna rejoined Sam on stage to sit behind his electric cello to spin out a quite wonderful take on ‘Crash Land’ as both Ross McNae and Craig Kneale slipped back onto stage to crank up the end of the song before leading into the ultimate set finishers, ‘Make a Beast of Myself’ and ‘Free’. As the boys left the stage to an eruption of ticker tape Craig thumped out the final few beats and put the seal on yet another top Twin Atlantic night in the north.

There’s no place like home, or a second home for that matter…

(Further photographs are here)

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Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy. A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre. Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy. You can contact Frank direct via frankieboyfin@gmail.com