Twin Atlantic – Kägelbanan, Stockholm 12/10 Support: Monarks

Photos at the end of the post!

Finally time for a hometown gig! Started off by tagging along to an interview that my friend Kristina was doing which was a great experience. Ross seemed none too surprised to see me, again with the handshake. The whole thing should be up on musicstage in the near future, I’ll link it on the blog for sure. Had time for a bit of food and drink after that and we ended up getting to the venue after the doors were supposed to have opened. Okay, so they opened late, but it’s still a miracle we didn’t die from queue stress.

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Gangstas in Stockholm

Kägelbanan has been redone since I was there last, but then again that was about 5 years ago. It’s a really nice venue, though the stage could have been a tad lower. Monarks came on and oooh my god. So THAT’S how they’re supposed to sound. It was really, really good, great lightshow and fantastic sound! If it keeps going like this I’m gonna have to go to headline shows… But first, three more support gigs to go, can’t wait!

When Twin Atlantic came on there was actually a really good crowd at the venue, I must admit I was surprised to see so many. Excellent set again, this time with the lights and sounds to really back it up. Super hot too, though I think I must attribute that to venue, rather than the crowd going insane (even if there was a bit of movement). Got to the point where I actually went back during Yes I Was Drunk to get water and beer (ha). That said, even if I missed half a song, I was a lot more into it after downing about three glasses go water, so it all evened out.

Super happy to see them get such a good response in Stockholm, and it was probably my favourite Scandinavian gig. Okay, Copenhagen came out on top for crowd reaction (shaking floors are hard to beat), but the gig at Kägelbanan was completely on point with band/lights/sound!

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Happy girl post gig!

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Twin Atlantic – BLÅ, Oslo 11/11 Support: Monarks

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After a nice little 8hour bus ride (my knees, I swear, this old lady is in need of a bus with bunks), I arrived in Oslo with Laureen and promptly made my way to McDonalds while she went to her hostel. Was supposed to actually get something done, but the tax office was closed and I was tired, so coffee and makeup was all I managed. A LOT of coffee.

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Öresundsbron (Denmark -> Sweden)

Met up with Else to head to venue and the meet & greet that I, uh, accidentally won, turned out there were all of four of us. Which made it a meet & greet of three, because I don’t count anymore. Love that we all did the introduction by name and shaking hands though, definitely on the same page haha. It was all a bit rushed, but nice to chat and very, very nice to be inside where it was warm.

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Monarks took to the stage and sadly didn’t sound very good. Not because of themselves, they’re great, but the only sounds reaching the audience (at least front row) was guitar. And more guitar and a little bit of drums. Also guitar. Vocals were completely drowned out, which goes a way to explain the quite lacklustre response from the crowd. Hard to shout answers when you can’t hear what they’re saying on stage. Fingers crossed for more vocal in Stockholm tonight!

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Twin Atlantic came on and my friend else has already put a great review up which can be read here: http://www.elsesolheim.com/twin-atlantic-bla-11-112016/
Disclaimer: I didn’t actually speak to the sound engineer about the vocals, I just went to the back during The Chaser to see if we couldn’t hear any backing vocals because there weren’t any, or just because we were front row which never has the best sound. That said, it wasn’t a front row problem this time and definitely got better during the show (even if they dropped out now and then).

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The show in itself was good. Smaller crowd than in 2014 (GLA promotion, what GLA promotion?), but they seemed more passionate about the whole thing and it was a good audience experience for Scandinavia. I’m having a few gigs now where I’m a bit more focused on the crowd, maybe just because I’ve seen Twin so many times now, maybe because it’s my home area. Regardless, it’s nice to be able to focus more on feeling the vibe of the audience sometimes, and let go a bit ot looking at the band and zoning in on the stage.

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Ended the evening with going to Elses where I was completely and thoroughly spoilt with pizza, pancakes, a bed and a pair of handmade gloves for the trip to Stockholm. All the love! Now on the train, travelling through a sunny, snowy Sweden while eating sjokoladeboller. Tour could be worse!

Twin Atlantic – Beta, Copenhagen 10/11 Support: Monarks

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Arrived in Copenhagen after going with the train on the ferry, something I have absolutely no memory of doing last time? Granted, that was two years ago, but I feel like I should have some idea about a ferry crossing… Oh well, it was really nice. Once in Copenhagen city I quickly made my way to Downtown Copenhagen, my favourite hostel (even if the prices have gone up). I wasn’t staying there this time, but I’m a sucker for coffee and free wifi.

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Somehow made myself presentable just in time for meeting up with the lovely Simone and making our way to the venue. And what a venue. The venue itself was great, intimate, good layout, good sound. They kept playing Biffy Clyro as well so I mean, obviously a great venue. But the area, well. Amager is not my thing. It’s far away, it’s dark and nowhere to go except Lidl. We survived a couple of hours anyway, and met up with Laureen, Marine and Danielle, fab times!
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Monarks did a good set once again, even if neither stage invasion nor crowdsurfing actually happened. Such a pleasure seeing their drummer play every night, just so good. I have to admit I still don’t really know any of the songs, but I’d say I have three favourites. So keep an ear out for the cowbell song, the last song and that other one. They’re great! Just kidding, I’ll try to figure out their names before the last date of tour at least…

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The last time I saw Twin Atlantic in Copenhagen was 2014, when they played Pumpehuset. That time they played the tiny downstairs stage and the audience consisted of about 70 people, who seemed to have some kind of aversion to moving around. Not so this time. This time the floor literally shook, and it was so damn good. Everyone was into it and the response was just so much better than I ever anticipated. Setlist was, unsurprisingly, the same as the night before and even if a Vivarium song or two wouldn’t be amiss, I’m quite okay with it. My (and everyone’s, if I may) main problem is that Mothertongue has been taken off. Bring it back lads, bring it back.

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Post gig the venue played more Biffy which resulted in three videos of me and Marine head banging and clapping like mad… One of them is up on instagram, imagine the rest haha. Waited around afterwards because no way will I ever miss a chance to hear the “You’re not wearing a jacket!” “Well YOU’RE not wearing a proper jacket!” between Barry and Danielle. Quality.

Twin Atlantic – Beckett University, Leeds 15/10 Support: Pulled Apart By Horses & Fangclub

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Last day of touuuur. Well, not for the band, they were off to Newcastle the day after, but for me. Got to Leeds at some point in the afternoon, bought a new phone! After the last one died in a London loo, I was in desperate need of something to take photos with.

Did the new one (a say new, second hand) turn out to have a cracked lens, so fine that I didn’t notice it when just looking at it? Indeed. Did it turn out that this actually made for some pretty cool effects? Yes indeed. So hopefully I won’t be too annoyed by it, and can stick with this red monster a while, same model as the old one of course. I guess, let me know what you think of the old jpegs in this post, cracked lens and all. I do still want a camera able to shoot RAW, but that’s in the future.

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Having bought a phone and wandered around completely lost for a while, I eventually made it to the queue where I joined the other gangstas. Queueing was pretty chilled, lots of great people and not too cold. I decided to go for barrier for the last date, we’ll see how the euro dates turn out.

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Surprise, surprise, both Fangclub and Pulled Apart By Horses did great sets. I’m sure I would have more specific things to say if I had been writing this more directly after the show, rather than 9 days after the fact. So I do indeed need to be more on it with the writing, but hey! At least the bands were great, so there’s that!

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And so, hey, were Twin Atlantic! The sound was better as well, which lifted the whole experience (someone had apparently taken to heart my comments, or so it was claimed haha). The No Sleep crowdsurf was still a lot more of a No Sleep toe-dip, but the Vivarium tracks had a lot more energy than, well, Birmingham. Seemed a lot more natural towards the end of tour, so hoping they’re re-growing into them so to speak. I was very happy with Leeds as the last gig, though of course I still wanted a punchier sound and more songs from GLA.

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It will be very interesting to see how it all looks and sounds in Europe. Where I will do my best to get posts up a LOT closer to when the actual gig was! After Leeds though, an acoustic show and a bit of Q&A awaited in London on October 17th, more on that very soon!

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Twin Atlantic – Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth 14/10 Support: Pulled Apart By Horses & Fangclub

After a nice day at home in Brighton with about 12hours of sleep, I jumped on the oh so smooth train to Portsmouth. Not having to go via London was just amazing, didn’t even have to change trains. Was a pretty good deal for a return ticket too! Spent a couple of hours wandering around Portsmouth which didn’t really… umm. Well, it reminded me of Milton Keynes. Strange, strange place. I gave up trying to understand it in the end, and went to Wetherspoons to wait for Claire.

We had a great time and wandered of to the Pyramid Centre just in time for Fangclub. That was cutting it a bit fine even for me, especially as I really enjoy seeing them live, but we did catch the whole thing. Though the intro to Psycho had me running full tilt from the bar to 2nd row without any drinks, because need to be headbanging to that one. Unsurprisingly they pulled off a great set, even if the venue was the weirdest one yet. School gym hall? That smelled a LOT of the chlorine in the swimming pools nearby. Weird, but it worked. Pulled Apart By Horses likewise did a good set, and the audience again didn’t seem too sure what to make of them, had a lot of fun though.

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Photo by: Claire Trosch

No one seemed really sure what to make of the crowd, it was a strange one. Twin Atlantic had to stop the second song because someone decided to start throwing punches in the pit. Didn’t stop until he was escorted out either. Restart of the song and an understandably muted crowd. It got a lot better with time though and actually saw the best No Sleep moshpit of all the gigs I went to. Rather than crowdsurfing, which had failed miserably so far (2 seconds does not a crowd surf make), Sam went into the audience, had a mosh and was THEN crowd surfed back to the stage. Excellent stuff. Back to my pet peeve, the sound was still good, and still quite uninteresting. It’ll be very interesting to see how it is in Europe, especially if they’re bringing their own FOH engineer or if it’ll be venue techs taking care of it. All in all though, a really fun show, even with the “stumble” in the beginning. Seriously, don’t fucking punch people. Don’t be a dick.

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Photo by: Claire Trosch

After the show Claire and I went for a drink at a pub nearby and then down to the sea. And it was glorious. And magical. Full moon and amazing views and extremely bad jokes, followed by a nap that lasted one full hour. Then, train, another train, bus and LEEDS! Last day of tour, well, for this part. And except for the following Monday of course.

Twin Atlantic – O2 Forum Kentish Town 12/10 Support: Pulled Apart By Horses & Fangclub

After Birmingham I was confused to say the least, and actually opted to not queue and instead hang out in a pub with other people who were going to the gig, until doors. Might not seem like a big deal, but it is to me. And says a lot about how I felt after the Birmingham show. Also I’d promised to bring on the moshpit, especially during Missing Link so the no queuing thing was on.

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(this shot could have been so damn good, but noo, be blurry by all means)

And it was great, actually. Had such a good time with everyone and even avoided feeling stressed (how, I shall never know). We ended up middle/left as per, and around 2nd and 3rd row so all was well. Rocked out to Fangclub again, dubbed by Jamie simply as Nirvana, and I can see why. Me, I agree but not to the point where I don’t think they don’t have their own style, in my opinion they’re rocking it their own way. That said, I’ve never been one to listen to Nirvana, so what do I know, really? Still very much in love with the fact that Twin Atlantic brought actual rock bands on tour, not that they haven’t had good support acts before. But with Fangclub and Pulled Apart By Horses it really ties in so well with the new album.

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Pulled Apart By Horses once again pulled off a smashing show, the singer jumping into the audience for the last song like the day before. The Twin fans didn’t seem quite sure how to handle it, but it definitely got a better reaction in London than in Birmingham. He ended it beautifully by throwing up all over front row while trying to get back over the barrier and get up on stage. See, another reason why second row has it’s advantages.

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Twin Atlantic played the same set as the day before, no surprise there. The whole experience though, was so much better this night. The sound was still not the loud, gritty rock I was hoping for, but it definitely sounded better in the Forum. The audience was a lot more involved as well and I rocked out like mad the whole show through. Me and Danielle was surely a sight to see, especially during Missing Link when we were even more inconspicuous, due to almost no other people moving AT ALL. It’s a GREAT moshpit song peeps, come on.
“I saw you rocking out a lot.”
“We were drunk.” (Excuse me Danielle, I headbang that much regardless)
“Yeah I assumed that.”
…le sigh.

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After the show I ended up spending two hours on a hostel floor before taking the first train home and let me tell you, I was not very on it at the lectures the day after. But I DID attend them! Also I dropped my phone in a loo for the second time, and twice was apparently too much for it. Hence no photos from Portsmouth, though I’ve borrowed some from the wonderful Claire.

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Twin Atlantic – O2 Institute, Birmingham 11/10 Support: Pulled Apart By Horses & Fangclub

Look at me, not even a few weeks into gigs and already falling behind, I won’t let that stop me this time though, even if the posts end up a bit late (wish me extra luck with this when it’s time for the next leg of the Twin tour please).

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My Megabus was, surprise, running late to Birmingham, so I had extra queue stress even if I’m sure I didn’t really need it. Went directly to the venue and joined the people already sitting there, hellooo mah French gangstas! Went to the hostel after a bit and had a not so good moment when I couldn’t find my reservation – and they also couldn’t find any booking in my name, but it turned out I’d just accidentally deleted the email and they were looking under the wrong name. Everything sorted out, I got ready and back to the queue I went. Had a gourmet dinner consisting of Greggs and doors were about as stressful as usual…

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Managed barrier though and had a great time discovering Fangclub (first support) and rediscovering Pulled Apart By Horses (main support). Both bands are heavy and grunge-y, perfect for a tour of Twin Atlantics latest album GLA. Setting the scene for some gritty rock n roll. Both support acts had great sound too, not something you’re always treated too.

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So it was to my great surprise that Twin Atlantic came out on stage and were… flat. Not bad sound by any means, but it was more like listening to a CD in your home than being at a live show. Neither the volume or the punch expected. I’m aware they don’t really have any monitor sound and being barrier was probably a worse experience than being further back, but that said I’ve seen them from front row before and this was by far the least exciting time.

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The setlist was good (well), I’ll always be a sucker for a bit of Vivarium and with both Human After All and Lightspeed I was a happy little clam. Not at all as much from the new album as I expected, but Missing Link was very welcome. A few of the songs, both from Free and Great Divide, felt superfluous however, and I question the choice of songs considering the overall feel of GLA. It needs more Ghost of Eddie and less Make A Beast Of Myself. More Actions That Echo and less Brothers and Sisters. And for me of course, just more GLA. But, I’ll happily look forward to future tours for more songs and different setlists.

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Overall it was a strange, quiet gig, very much so from the audience (come on and MOVE people) and from the stage as well. A negative circle of the audience not getting enough live punch and the band not getting any response from the audience? Possibly. All I know is that it got a lot, A LOT better on subsequent dates.

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After the gig we hung around for a bit, great chats with Danielle and so lovely to meet Carla again! Went to the hostel and a very, very good sleep, just not enough as usual. London up next!