The Lemon Twigs at Koko
Lovers of classic rock need look no further, for last night The Lemon Twigs delivered a vast playground of 70s grooves in a vibrant, explosive show that would not have looked out of place on Top of the Pops at the height of glam. Clad in flares and a young Freddie Mercury-style open-chest leopard leotard, the D’Addario brothers, Brian and Michael, gave their all to a packed-out Koko accompanied by their best friend Danny Ayala on keyboards and flawless backing vocals and Maggie Zeankowski on bass.
The young New York band got off to a shaky start on I Wanna Prove to You, but all was forgiven and forgotten from the third tune onwards. The jazzy chords of These Words, Frank, and most of the other songs never ceased to astound the ear while Michael D’Addario showed off on the drums, standing up and twirling his sticks like nobody’s business.
The “Brian” part of the show could have been on prime time television with its bright lights and its flashy, catchy music. He demonstrated his guitar prowess in Love Stepped Out, a beautiful number even more vintage than the others (written by their father in 1976), with two dazzling solos and touchingly raw yet accurate vocals.
The band’s characteristic changeover between lead guitar and drums was smoothed over by a heart-melting acoustic tune, How Lucky Am I, with Brian moving temporarily on to keys while Ayala and Michael provided some of their usual impeccable harmonies.
This set the tightly attired Michael up as frontman for the latter half of the show, with Brian quite literally smashing it on drums as his brother played slightly sloppier riffs to his more modern-sounding compositions, invoking the spirit of Angus Young and David Lee Roth with some seriously impressive, acrobatic dance moves. An odd mix of musical theatre and stadium rock, epitomised in As Long As We’re Together, Michael acted out all the parts with perhaps a little too much flair.
In spite of some unprofessional moments that occasionally gave the impression of an over-the-top high school talent show, their performance was so genuine, the execution so solid, that the audience could not help but grin uncontrollably and scream hysterically along to the leading boys’ antics, going so far as to imitate the guitarists’ moves all the way out into the streets of Camden. The Lemon Twigs truly, fearlessly and irresistibly channelled the playful, carefree campness of 70s glam rock with a healthy dose of irony and oodles of fun.
Photo: David Mackinnon
For further information about Lemon Twigs and future events visit here.
Watch the video for These Words here: