Twin Atlantic live!

Wednesday November 30th, 2011

Arcane Roots are first up tonight, their smashing tunes and energetic performance are, unfortunately, slightly wasted on the handful of kids who have arrived at the show early enough to catch them. Their songs are good, that much is clear, but the atmosphere in the room is one of less than enthusiasm. They play a good set but the crowd just aren’t that impressed.

Dinosaur Pile-Up are on next and they put their all into their performance. Their music is loud and catchy and to begin with vocalist, Matt Bigland, is full of enthusiasm that the crowd just doesn’t seem to share. But persistence is the key with this audience, it seems, as further on into their set they actually manage to get the crowd jumping and clapping along. As their set draws to a close and they leave the stage, it is clear that Dinosaur Pile-Up gained more than a few new fans tonight.

When it is time for the main act and the lights begin to dim, the audience cheer louder than they have all night. “Serious Underground Dance Vibes” is Twin Atlantic’s opening song; it is a purely instrumental track but this does not stop the crowd from going crazy, especially when singer, Sam McTrusty, takes his place at the front of the stage. The girls in the front row scream his name and he glances up from his guitar to give them a cheeky grin before the band launches into the opening notes of fantastic new single “Make a Beast of Myself”. This is when it becomes apparent that Twin Atlantic have something special, McTrusty’s strong accent gives the band’s music a very unique feel and it is obvious that he really believes in what he is singing (he later tells the crowd “that’s what our whole band’s about: fucking honesty!”). His eyes are alight with excitement and a couple of times he looks over to the other members of the band, a smile plastered on his face, to find them sporting exactly the same look. You can tell they’re having the time of their lives, sharing their music with the world. It is plain to see that this is what they love, and this is what they are good at. Sam McTrusty’s stage presence is phenomenal, all eyes follow him as he skips around stage and sings his heart out, adding quirky jerking dance moves to his performance; it’s positively hypnotising.

Humour is something which I feel all bands need to have a bit of in their set, and Twin Atlantic have exactly the right amount. “I want your babies!” a bloke in the audience yells to McTrusty as he pauses for a sip of his drink, the singer grins “when we started our band 5 years ago, that was our dream” he jokes, raising his glass in approval. When he brings his acoustic guitar out, chants of “Crash Land, Crash Land” immediately start up, McTrusty looks up from his guitar before leaning towards the microphone “oh, you’re saying Crash Land. I thought you were calling me a fat slag!” he laughs, before launching into the song. A mention must be given to Barry McKenna, who alternates between guitar, piano and cello with complete ease throughout the set.

When they say their goodbyes and exit the stage, Twin Atlantic leave the crowd elated, exhausted and excited for the next time the band will be gracing their hometown with their amazing presence. Twin Atlantic have the image, the energy in their live shows, the attitude, and, above all, the talent to go far, and I must say that I for one think they deserve to. 10/10

- Amber Rose, Dec/2011

To see more photos from this day and of other bands visit my tumblr.

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We talk Grammar, Disney Characters and Super Powers with Twin Atlantic!

Barry McKenna

Twin Atlantic have recently embarked upon their biggest UK healine tour to date, we had a chat to vocalist Sam McTrusty and guitarist Barry McKenna before their show at The Haunt in Brighton. To hear all about grammar, their favourite Disney characters and which band member Sam would marry, read on…

So, tell us how you guys started out?

Sam: Ross, our bass player, and me…? I almost said “myself” but I think that’s grammatically incorrect. Ross and I went to school together and we kinda got into American rock bands and stuff at the same time, so that’s how we became friends, I suppose. We started going to gigs together; bands like New Found Glory and Blink-182. So then, I dunno, he kinda played guitar for a while and I thought that was cool, and a few years later I started writing some songs and we just started playing together, and that’s how we met Barry and Craig (our drummer). I dunno, ever since we first talked about what our idea of being in a band was and how much commitment we wanted to put into it, we just kinda kept going from that day taking it pretty much at 100% seriousness level. That’s kinda it. I wish there was an easier story! Maybe we should just make one up… Barry used to be a doctor and he rescued me from, err… something. But no, it’s basically a classic boy meets boy, plays guitars-

Barry: Boy meets boy meets boy meets boy.

Sam: Boys meet boys.

That sounds a little bit gay ;)

Sam: Hey, that’s fine with me, man! S’fine with me!

So you mentioned blink 182, we’ve done a bit of research and you’ve obviously supported them. How was it with them being people you looked up to growing up?

Barry: Kinda surreal even for me, even though when I was growing up I wasn’t the biggest Blink-182 fan, even outside of that no-one can get away from how big they are. They’re one of those bands where, like, I would always say to my mum and my dad “oh, we’re supporting Smashing Pumpkins” and they’re like “who?” or “we’re supporting…” and you name all the bands you’re supporting and they wouldn’t know any of them, but you go “oh were supporting Blink-182″ and they go “ohh right, I’ve heard of them!”. They’re just one of those colossal stadium bands, so the fact that we got asked to support them was just such a massive compliment and playing to that many people was such a privilege. So, yeah, it was cool, and we learned a lot from it as well. Tom, especially, was quite forthcoming, giving advice and stuff like that, so that was pretty sweet.

Sam McTrusty

So, for people who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?

Sam: I’d say it’s definitely rock music, that’s the only pigeon hole I would really put it in but I think it’s quite varied, ‘cause we’ve got slower, like, really fucking emotional songs, and then we’ve got other ones that are kinda like throw away just, like, to a party songs – ones that we wrote just for people to have a good time to. We’ve got other ones that have kinda cinematic instrumental elements to them, but then there’s other ones that are, like, classic pop song structure. So it’s kind of all over the place but it all just kinda falls under the bracket of rock music.

When you’re on tour, does it feel strange to be so far from home?

Barry: It feels stranger to be at home now. Because we’re so often touring on the road or recording, doing this and that, so home is weird now. We’re like “oh what do we do at home?”

So what are you looking forward to next year? Do you have anything lined up?

Sam: We haven’t really thought about it! I mean, we’ve kind of mapped out roughly what we might be doing: probably gonna be touring in America again, hopefully doing some more headline UK shows (that’s a big hopefully because we really want to do it), touring in Europe again, and then, in between all that sort of stuff, writing new songs and hopefully getting to put out a new album much later on in the year. But I dunno, we’re kind of, like, so in the present, if you know what I mean; we’re trying to enjoy all the stuff that’s happening just now, we’ve not really focussed too much on the future yet. We just see how it goes, that’s kind of how our band operates. We’ve always kinda focussed more on what’s happening next month than what’s happening next summer.

Would you say that’s how you write your songs as well?

Sam: Yeah, it kinda is. I mean, there’s a little bunch of them – maybe a handful – that took like a weird journey over, like, two or three years to finally get to where we were all happy with them, but it’s usually something that’s pretty immediate and just kinda depends on what mood we’re in, or what mood I’m in, the words come about that way.

So would you say that you’re the one who starts the creative process on most of the songs?

Yeah. It usually starts at my end because I’ve got this weird thing where – there’s a reason behind it – basically, because I’m singing and putting my personal touch on the music we make together, I’ve kinda always wanted it to be my words so it’s something that I really believe in, y’know? Like, where if it’s you own message you can get behind it a bit more? That’s why I took on writing all the lyrics and stuff. The songs usually start with me on guitar – one guitar that maps out the song, and then, as a band, we kinda fix that and make it into something worth showing people. ‘Cause Barry and Ross especially have got a lot more musical knowledge than I do. They always kind of make the crucial decision that makes it into a really good song. It’s a weird process but it’s kind of the way we found works for us.

Now we’re on to the slightly silly questions! So, if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Barry: Everyone always give the same answers, right? Like “Invisibility”, “I’d love to fly”, ‘cause let’s face it they’re the best, or fucking “Super-strength”, but I’d love to have the super ability to read someone’s mind. But I’d like to also have the ability to switch it off, ‘cause that could be soul destroying after a while… Everyone, in my head, going “that guys such a dick!” all the time.

Sam: ‘What Women Want’ – Mel Gibson!

Barry: Yeah, if it was on all the time it would become a curse, exactly like that.

Sam: We could call you ‘On/Off Man’! That would terrify me if you could read my mind. Erm, shit… I love super powers and all the stuff so I don’t even know how to answer that! Oh, to never age, but that’s not, like, a vanity thing. I just get really freaked out about getting sick or, like, having a really bad illness or something like that. I know that can happen to you when you’re young, but it s not happened to me yet, touch wood. Yeah, I’d just stay young forever… Some sort of weird Michael Jackson complex!

Are you guys familiar with the game “shag, marry, kill”? 

Sam: Yeah, yeah.

Sam fills out one of our mad libs

Okay, so, “shag, marry, kill”: the other three members of the band…?

Sam: Mine would all be Craig; in that order! Use his body, abuse his heart and then just, fuck it, cut him off, man! Yeah.

Who is your favourite Disney character?

Sam: The Beast from ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Not 100% on that but he was the one that kinda immediately came to mind. I quite like Mufasa from ‘The Lion King’ too; he’s a very majestic guy.

Barry: I’m a big fan of Robin Williams’ portrayal of the Genie in Aladdin.

Before they left we asked Twin Atlantic to fill out our mad libs, here’s what they came up with (and yes, we know we missed “time” out of the beginning sentence ;) oops)

- Amber Rose and Sam Robinson/Dec 2011

More photos from that day and other band shoots can be found on my tumblr.

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Dougie Poynter of McFly Crowned King of the Jungle!

Last night, after spending 22 days in the Australian jungle, Dougie Poynter of McFly won ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’

Before the winner was announced Tom Fletcher (McFly vocalist) had this to say (via Twitter): “I don’t care if he wins, he’s eaten an anus and a penis. I’ve got what I came here for!”

But everyone seemed ecstatic when the results were announced and Dougie was finally crowned king.

Runner up Mark Wright of ‘The Only Way is Essex” had this to say (via Twitter): “Guys thank you everyone for the support. Worthy winner and worthy runner up :)”

Shortly after he was crowned, Dougie tweeted “My first ruling as king is……everyone must never ever wear crocs ever again and the Thames to be filled with Oreo milkshake”

Sounds fair to me! ;)

To join in with the secret mission McFly have set their fans visit McFly’s Super City

- Amber Rose/Dec 2011

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Katy Perry nominated for two GRAMMYs

It was announced yesterday that Katy Perry‘s “Firework” has been nominated for ‘Record of the Year’ and  Katy has been nominated for ‘Best Pop Solo Performance’ at next year’s 54 Annual GRAMMY Awards. The winners of the GRAMMYs will be announced on February 12th 2012.

- Amber Rose/Dec 2011

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Katy Perry wins “American Music Lifetime Achievement Award”

Yesterday, as well as performing her newest single, “The One That Got Away”, Katy Perry took home an American Music Awards “Special Lifetime Achievement Award” for being the first female artist with 5 consecutive number one singles off of the same album.

- Amber Rose/Nov 2011

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“Take my hand, let’s get famous”: Madina Lake play fantastic show in Brighton

Brighton, Concorde 2 – Wednesday November 9th 2011

Madina Lake are a band that have been through a lot; just last year the bass player of the band (and twin of vocalist, Nathan Leone), Matthew Leone, was put in hospital when he saw man beating his wife and intervened in order to save her. Matthew was attacked so badly that he had to have a third of his skull removed to help with the brain swelling. But Madina Lake are a band who come back fighting, and now, with Matthew back to full health and an album to promote, Madina Lake are on tour in the U.K.

With support from the charming electro-rockers My Passion, the night gets off to an energetic start. They bounce around the stage putting their all into their short set, and more than a few people know the words to all of their songs. My Passion are good performers with tons of energy, they really get the crowd going, and they are absolutely lovely guys who are truly grateful for what they have, who always take the time to thank their fans for the support, and if that was all you judged a band on My Passion would be the best band in the world. But, unfortunately, it is My Passion’s music that lets them down. It lacks that certain something that would make them a good band outside of the live environment.

As the lights go down and Madina Lake take to the stage it is clear that this is really what the crowd have been waiting for. They scream, they shout, they jump up and down, and, from the look on some of the kids’ faces as the Chicago superstars-to-be pour their heart and soul into their performance, I think one or two of them may have wet themselves with excitement…

They continue through their set putting 100% into everything, every word they scream, sing, say to the fans is believable; most especially the heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them for what they have done for Matthew. The fact that Madina Lake are one of the sweetest bands you will ever meet is undeniable. They respect and appreciate every last one of their fans and understand that without them, doing what they’re doing would not be possible. They are a band who truly deserve to go far.

Like My Passion, Madina Lake have the energy, they have the right attitude and the charm, and they have the image, but they have something that the London-based emos don’t: Madina Lake have the potential write amazing songs, and there is every possibility that, in the not too distant future, Madina Lake will create an album that will make them superstars. 9/10

- Amber Rose/Nov 2011

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