Gig Review – Two Door Cinema Club – 18/02/2013 Brixton Academy

Two Albums in, Two Door Cinema Club still seem to be gaining momentum. Known for their manic gigging schedule, they have made a name for themselves from near constant touring, frequenting as many festivals as possible and of course some very favourable word of mouth.

This was my second time seeing the lads play, both times at the always atmospheric Brixton Academy. I rarely see bands twice within a short time span, but the first time round was such a ride I couldn’t resist saying yes, barely 18months after gig number one.

Summer 2011. I arrived at the gig in shorts and a basketball top. It was a balmy evening after a sizzling hot day, and my plans were this gig, then an all nighter out clubbing. The heat, and general summer high perhaps put me in the perfect mood for the show. After the support act, we were treated to a near hour-long old-school rave as a warm up. Faithless, Darude, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx… dance music elite one and all were played back-to-back as the crowd ebbed and swayed, charging the communal batteries.

This was a brave move. Energising the audience was to build expectations. Were they to not deliver the same or greater energy on stage, well, “Expectancy will always spoil the party” as the saying goes.

Of course, they delivered. In 2011 they were up-and-comers. Just one album, with less than 40minutes of recorded material. But what solid material. Each song dripping with hooks, riffs, and melodies aplenty.

But back to 2013. How did they hold up second time round?

They now have two well received albums. Remixes galore. And a solid fan base that ensures sold out venues.  All the tricks of round one were present, and the gig was a blast, thoroughly enjoyable. But something left me slightly cold.

Perhaps it was the cold.

Theirs are summer tunes. No wonder the festival crowds adore them. Turning up to a gig in summer clothes, pogoing to upbeat tracks in a steamy gig venue; this is the way to do Two Door Cinema Club. Whereas, wrapped up in February attire, the crowd had less bounce. Less verve.

Album two, “Beacon”, has some great tunes. Song’s that are more slow burning than their debut set, which will serve them well going forward. For the live crowd, it was still the big, repetitious choruses of their early work that got everyone moving. However, some of the catchier moments from “Beacon” shone through. Perhaps sheer volume and the energy of a live set gave them something more, an kick up the backside from a stacked Marshall and a stacked vocal.

This energy on stage continues to serve them well. With minimal stage chat beyond the cursory ‘heys ‘and ‘how you doings’, they let their music speak for themselves. A tight laser and light show upped the proverbial ante this time around, proving they are happy to reinvest some of their hard earned cash back into the tour.

A few tracks in, the lead singer began to struggle. Notes fell flat, and even from my vantage point by the sound guy (of course, the best place to be at any gig) I could see the strain in his face. A rock’n’roll request for some warm tea followed, with the apology that he was losing his voice that week. Of course, he asked us to help him out. Not that he needed to. We were there to sing along, and besides the tea did wonders. I really need his recipe for future reference!

These are a band to see. They are still young and have a lot to show us. Ideally, catch them in the warmer months, outside if possible. Get the drinks in and enjoy the ride. It is clear they are doing just that.

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