Gig review: The Twang at O2 Academy Leeds

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THE TWANG are no strangers to Leeds, having played in the city on numerous occasions since their breakthrough in 2007.

Bassist Jon Watkin and lead singer Phil Etheridge had a brief spell at university here in their formative years.

“I lived in Woodhouse and always love coming to Leeds,” said Etheridge during The Twang’s set last Thursday.

Well, the feeling was certainly mutual as they gave a performance which so typified them as a band: raucous, uplifting and generally thoroughly decent value for money.

The Birmingham indie-rock outfit played all their classics, plus more recent stuff from their third studio album, entitled 10:20.

The Twang were on stage prior to headliners Coventry indie outfit The Enemy, with the two bands having embarked on a hectic joint tour throughout December.

It was decided at the start of the tour that The Enemy would go on stage last at all shows except Birmingham, where it will end this weekend.

After Jaws had provided the support early in the evening, The Twang came on at 8.30pm and took centre stage.

Etheridge, The Twang’s loquacious and charismatic frontman, has spoken of how life in a band is far from all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

He told of how he often has to take to manual labouring to make ends meet and feed his young family.

Yet his passion for what he does is blindingly obvious.

From the moment The Twang came on stage, the crowd was in raptures.

Kicking off with Barney Rubble, Etheridge and his pals ran through the band’s back catalogue of fans’ favourites – Took the Fun, Either Way, Wide Awake, Two Lovers, plus more recent material from their latest album 10:20.

The crowd lapped it all up adoringly and, while The Twang have struggled to build on their breakthrough of almost eight years ago, their loyal fanbase continues to turn out in force wherever they perform.

Long may it continue.

Gig date: December 11