Twin Peaks were let loose in Manchester as part of the European section of their first headlining tour outside of the States. They were supported by Luxury Death and Happyness in Manchester’s Sound Control. As a follower of Twin Peaks since their buying and loving their album ‘Wild Onion’ last year as well as seeing them perform at Reading 2015, I was ecstatic to be reviewing the Chicago-based 5-piece. Sound Control is a cheap and cheerful venue; with wooden floors that bend and throb once the crowd begin to go crazy, along with the sticky beer-soaked floors and quirky décor.
After Luxury Death performed an impressive 80s-inspired synth/rock set, they were followed by Happyness, who after beginning with their Kurt-like front-man singing his heart out in moaning ballads, ended with their lead guitarist eyes-closed, knelt on the floor as he played upside-down shaking his hair like a reborn rock star. The scene was set for Twin Peaks to let rip on Sound Control’s small yet very excited crowd.
The Twin Peaks shuffled on stage all dressed in wonderfully jumbled-looking clothes, which fitted their image and aesthetic perfectly. The chilled nature of the band as they set up was a stark difference to the second they began playing for the crowd. Beginning with ‘Walk to the One you Love’ from their recent album ‘Down in Heaven’. No time was wasted as the lads tore through their youthful blend of wild and slurred songs which have a distinctive American garage-band sound. Their rugged enthusiasm to playing each song felt to me how music really should be; un-capitalised, authentic, and exciting…the type of music that you can’t help but dance and smile to. Songs like ‘My Boys’, ‘Have You Ever?’ and ‘Flavor’ had catchy chorus’ and were easy to pick up, meaning by the end of each song the whole crowd were shrieking along to the lyrics.
Twin Peaks are a band that are impossible not to enjoy because their music is quality, and when combined with their hilariously crazy performance’s makes for a completely bonkers set. Often I caught glimpses of Clay (vocalist/bass guitarist) holding himself up with his microphone against his forehead and spaced out and staring at the lights shining down on him, completely sweat-drenched. In ‘Strawberry Smoothie’ they were all simultaneously going crazy; Cadien shaking his hair manically as Clay threw the microphone stand around and Colin impressively played the guitar and keyboard at the same time, not to mention Connor who was drumming like he was having the time of his life.
The set was a good length and it was like nothing I had ever seen and the crowd were mad for it. The band members were all hilariously entertaining, which was a key part in the overall enjoyment. They have really tapped into an indie-rock nerve in me and I would have certainly gone to every night of their tour. They play the kind of music that doesn’t need to be in the charts or have a famous name featuring on a song to know that you’re listening to is good. The scratchy-retro guitar in the intro of ‘Making Breakfast’, the random ‘ow’ sounds and shouts in almost every song, the psychedelic synth in ‘Strange World’ and the capacity for tenderness in ‘Sweet Thing’ boasted their true gritty talent and abundance of technical skills. Twin Peaks were a burst of energy and a pleasure to watch because they gave the crowd a raw and downright exhilarating performance.