The Twilight Sad (4 stars)

The Twilight Sad

Photo: M Gallacher (

O2 ABC, Glasgow, Fri 2 Apr 2010

The Twilight Sad occupy shadows and angles; space and darkness. They delineate a rare silhouette onstage, and on our musical landscape: for all their Scottish indie references, bleak local folklore and Lanarkshire diction, their live performances often conjure vintage American alt. rock.

There is something in singer James Graham’s imperative, side-on presence that revives the awkward magnetism of REM’s Michael Stipe; and something in the band’s epic rhythm section – on capacious guitar anthems ‘I Became a Prostitute’ and ‘Reflection of the Television’ – that suggests canyons and sizeable things to come.

Despite the gig’s quadraphonic sound – it’s a cool diversion, but they’re thunderous enough without it – our senses are assailed by impending melodies, imposing self-possession and a pummelling light-show. A deluge of red is a vivid portent for signature pop-lament ‘Cold Days from the Birdhouse’; while a flash of brilliant white illuminates TTS. We glimpse its origin amid the fragile clamour of ‘The Room’: its shafts, as bright as solar flares, radiate from Graham’s heart.

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