By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
Having been in hiding for what seemed like a lifetime, which in reality was only four years but a few months can feel like a year in the music world, Irish rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club returned to Scotland with a whole new sound and, for frontman Alex Trimble, a whole new look.
Priding themselves on their unique take on the indie rock genre in the early 2010’s, the band has totally shifted to this nostalgic 80’s aesthetic that spreads not only to their music but the stage as well last night, the Barrowlands shimmering with neon pinks and blues throughout the night. While they may not be the first band to do so, many of the acts who have popularised this look recently were the products of TDCC’s boom back with their debut album back in 2010 and the subsequent rise of similar acts such as The Vaccines and The 1975.
Unlike those bands though, TDCC have been attempting to build upon the poppy guitar sound with Trimble putting it best himself, saying that their new sound “is not embracing the pop that’s going on now in a melodic or structural sense. The two biggest influences for me were Prince and Bowie – both total pioneers who straddled that line between out-there pop and avant-garde craziness.”
The end results are a bit mixed: the first track perormed off their latest album Gameshow was Bad Decisions which is delightfully catchy but Trimble’s vocal delivery goes from soothing to the ears to graining all too frequently while Are We Ready is familiar indie pop that, on first hearing, is just meant to be an inoffensive good time but scratch below the surface and you’ll find some of the band’s most mature lyrics to date.
Although the new material was hit or miss for some, the sheer amount of tracks played off the band’s first two albums was not only a surprise but an absolute treat. The accessible dance pop tinge that was apparent on many of Tourist History‘s tracks shined through last night as it was impossible not to look around the venue and see someone dancing or singing away like it was an indie karaoke night. Even Changing Of The Seasons, an EP release I was convinced I had made up in my head as no one I discussed the band with ever seemed to recognise it, fitted perfectly into the setlist and added to the already great range of variety on offer.
With another night at the barras already underway tonight as well as the act performing at TRNSMT festival this upcoming July, Two Door have made themselves both familiar to those whose radars they weren’t previously on in addition to reminding those who loved the band since their early days that they haven’t lost the magic that makes them so appealing.