The Twilight Sad bring quadrophonic live show to Glasgow O2
Get ready to rediscover the singular sound of Scotland’s melancholy doom rockers The Twilight Sad – now coming at you from all angles, explains Ryan Drever
In the three years since releasing their impressive debut Fourteen Autumns And Fifteens Winters, an album greeted with a storm of praise, The Twilight Sad have been glued to the road supporting The Smashing Pumpkins, Beirut and Mogwai (to name but a few). In between which they have been robbed, lost a bass player, released another record, and even started their third – and that’s not even the half of it.
In the wake of their equally lauded second album, Forget The Night Ahead, an record possessing a much darker, brooding beauty than its predecessor, vocalist James Graham recalls the tricky task of bettering their rather blinding first effort. ‘There was always that worry that people wouldn’t take to this album as much after the overwhelming reaction everyone had to the first one,’ he explains. ‘But once people sat down and gave it time they began to understand it I think. We were really confident with the new songs, and that we had moved on from the first album.’
At the beginning of this year, the band’s bass player, Craig Orzel announced he was leaving the band to try new things, citing his reasons and moment of epiphany in a brilliant parting statement as, ‘A particularly heavy night which resulted in me waking up baw deep in a granny.’
‘It was a shock when Craig left’, Graham remembers. ‘But he just felt like it was time to move on and wanted to try new things, which is totally understandable. Being in a band isn’t always the party that it looks like on the surface and I think he wanted to get back to some sort of normal, structured life.’
Since then, the band have drafted in Take A Worm For A Walk Week/Desalvo’s Johnny Docherty to pick up four-string duties. ‘We have been practising a lot and we are sounding better than ever before, in my opinion. There is a whole new energy to the band,’ Graham beams. ‘To be honest the past six months have been pretty hard on us as a band, what with losing Craig, getting robbed in Italy and countless other things behind the scenes, but now we are all really excited about the future of the band and Johnny coming in has been a big part of that.’
As well as embarking on extensive touring stints with Biffy Clyro and ethereal Japanese post-rock troupe Mono, this month will also see the band play the biggest hometown headline show of their career to date. The gig, at Glasgow’s O2 ABC, will be one of very few to utilise a ‘quadraphonic’ sound system, which, through a combination of additional speakers and advanced mixing technology gives the crowd an enveloping sonic experience. So, if two stellar albums and constant praise wasn’t already a good enough reason to step out and explore the ‘Sad’s new quartet line-up, this show promises to let their mesmerising sonic palette get under your skin in a whole new way. The show will use software that allows sounds to ricochet between speakers, meaning a guitar line can fly around the room or a drum roll can begin from the front of the venue and finish at the back. ‘For us, playing our own gig at the ABC is a pretty big deal. It shows how far we have come since the days of playing to fifty people, which included our friends and families, at the 13th Note,’ says Graham. ‘Having the quadraphonic sound would make it extra special and something different for people coming to the gig.’
O2 ABC, Glasgow, Fri 2 Apr.