Twin Atlantic at the Roundhouse
Scottish alternative rockers Twin Atlantic have been around for more than a decade, a time in which they’ve built a dedicated fanbase who can’t get enough of their indie-inflected blend of emotional hard rock. At their best at London’s Roundhouse venue, it’s easy to see why, as simple, stomping anthems slip from lead singer Sam McTrusty’s lips and energise Sunday night gig-goers following a long day in the sun.
The first part celebrates the 10th anniversary of their 2011 album Free (a year late thanks to the pandemic). Because of this, their set is heavy on tracks from the record, running through much of its tracklist in full. Opener Edit Me and Apocalyptic Renegade are pretty standard emo rock fare, enjoyable for fans of the genre and enough to get the crowd going, but hardly tearing the roof off a huge and not quite full venue.
Once the group – now a duo of McTrusty and Ross McNae, with live support from ex-member Barry McKenna – moved into the meat of the album, the quality stepped up a gear, Yes, I Was Drunk, Free, slowed down fan favourite Crash Land and the witty and confessional Make a Beast of Myself showcasing the throaty strength of the former’s vocals and melodic Caledonian touches. These remind you what sets them apart from peers and explain their and the album’s longevity and popularity. Crash Land in particular provides an emotional sing-a-long that befits the balmy evening.
Although it’s technically a show celebrating their 2011 breakthrough, and enjoyable for its anthemic central tracks, it’s really in the second half when the band are freer to perform a more eclectic mix of their hits and newer material. Here, they have more license to provide fans new and old with a whistlestop tour of their past and present, including several tracks from their most recent record, January’s more experimental Transparency. The best of these is Bang on the Gong, a number that at times makes them sound like a Glaswegian Gorillaz. By now McTrusty has truly warmed to his task – a mishap with McNae’s guitar notwithstanding – and is urging willing fans to rock like it’s a Saturday night rather than a Sunday.
They close with their biggest hit to date, 2014’s Heart and Soul, an excellent pop-rock anthem that transcends their genre. At times this Twin Atlantic show felt like an indulgence for the heavily initiated – but with more than enough excellent moments that show why they’ve earned those fans.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Twin Atlantic’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Bang on the Gong here: