Fresh off the back of winning The Skinny’s Scottish Album of the Year Award and not too far
gone from touring with the behemoths that are The Cure, The Twilight Sad endeavoured
upon their largest headline show yet at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.
Opening the night were Man of Moon, a diminutive 2-piece set-up that finds themselves
projected into a monstrous and groovy wall of solid brick brutal sound.
The Sad themselves, walk onto the stage to a pulsating loop of a soundtrack and with an
excitedly nervous energy so palpable you could almost taste it. Enveloping synth chords
distortedly wash over the stunning concert hall and all its buzzing inhabitants as the set is
burst into by ‘[10 Good Reasons For Modern Drugs]’. The Kilsyth quintet kick onwards filling
half of their set with tracks from It Won/t Be Like This All the Time. Whilst all throughout, the
band wore their emotions on their sleeves and consistently professed how grateful they
were to have gotten to where they are right now, it is the emotional bursts of James
Graham, punctuating the end of each and every song with overwhelmed body contortions
that will perpetuate in memory.
As the audience gaze on, transfixed by the band, differentiating between the exited shaking
of the crowd and the vigorous vibrations crashing from speaker to door and from ceiling to
floor becomes impossible. Old and new fans collide and combine in a shared joy as the band
slip through their most loved songs: ‘Cold Days from the Birdhouse’, a tear-jerking
singalong; ‘That Summer, At Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy’, precluded by a memory
of playing the track long ago at an Edinburgh pub; ‘There’s a Girl in the Corner’, a dirty bass-
driven track with a dangerously eerie feel. The five members were tight and very able to
translate songs that are quite delicately produced on record into more than worthy live
No Twilight Sad show is completed without an emotional ode to the bands’ close friend, the
dearly missed Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit in the form of ‘Keep Yourself Warm’.
The Frabbit cover is a force that somehow unites an already united room of music lovers
even more. Everyone knows what it means, and everyone feels it too. The bands’ decision
to embed this track in every set they play is powerful and well measured in its preserving of
a beautiful legacy left by Hutchison and the rest of Frightened Rabbit.
A gorgeous evening is ended with the inevitable collapse of Graham onto the stage as the
band wander off, leaving him welling in his own awestruck state of being. He profusely
thanks a crowd that profusely thank him and the group back. If we don’t manage to keep
ourselves warm, a loving group of people holding the same music so close to their hearts
will help ensure heat remains.
Image: Tobias Abel