Review: The Lemon Twigs – Roundhouse, London – February 27th, 2019

The Roundhouse is probably the handiest venue for me currently. A short journey on the Thameslink rail line from Luton to Kentish Town station and then a 20 minute walk from there to the venue. Easy!

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I arrived early enough, around 7.20pm. Support act Matt Maltese wasn’t due on until 8pm.

I found myself stood at almost the exact same spot I was in at the Franz Ferdinand gig last September…and I was getting a little apprehensive about it. I had fainted at the gig. The first time anything like that had happened to me. It was starting to play on my mind. But I just kept talking to myself, reassuring myself. Shortly after, I got chatting to a man next to me and it took my mind off it and distracted me enough for me not to worry and dwell on it. I also made sure that this time I had ample food and drink in me (and had water to hand should I feel the need to keep myself hydrated).

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Matt Maltese was quite good. I liked what I heard. He’s got a fairly “lo-fi” quality to him. Quite laid back. He performed several songs, of which Hello Black Dog was the standout for me. You’ll find a little snippet of it below. I’ll give his album a listen in the next few days. I really do think it’ll be something I’ll enjoy.

There wasn’t too much of a wait before The Twigs appeared. As soon as it hit 9pm, the crowd were getting restless…clapping and cheering for the guys to appear. On the Roundhouse FB page it stated they’d be on at 9.05 and there they were, almost on the dot and straight into Go To School opener Never In My Arms, Always In My Heart.

Michael had some of the girls in the crowd screaming from the off. Using all he gained from his years as a child actor, giving the most Jagger-esque of “rock star stud” performances.

Once done, Michael starts to talk about his meeting with legendary U.S. songwriter, Paul Williams, and how some mutual appreciation went on. To the point in which he says, “so I thought ‘fuck it, you know…and I sucked him off’.” Erm, okay Michael! Thanks for sharing! Lol. I got the distinct impression it was all bravado and very much tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps cock-in-cheek in this instance) and on they went into Foolin’ Around (which obviously he had been doing with his felating Paul Williams story).

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There is quite a distinction between the D’Addario boys. Michael is definitely the showman. All front, bravado, then pretend nonchalance. But, of course, the musicianship is there. Brian, conversely, brings the musicianship more to the fore with sublime vocals and maestro guitar playing (as well as some time behind the keyboard too). But he can let his hair down as well, but it’s always more controlled and more restrained to Michael’s bold theatrics.

It’s then Brian’s turn to shine, leading a wonderful version of Small Victories. Also on the amazing “influences worn unapologetically on sleeves” I Wanna Prove To You.

Other songs in the set included (sandwiched between the two songs just mentioned) This Is My Street, The Lesson, Hi & Lo, Light & Love, the beautiful These Words, Queen Of My School, Baby Baby, Tailor Made, Home Of A Heart, then a full showman display for The Fire – excerpt below – and finally As Long As We’re Together.

Instruments down. Guitars left playing feedback…the crowd were left wanting more. Only a few minutes were we left waiting for a solitary song encore of If You Give Enough.

Had this gig been on at the Roundhouse 50 years ago, it would not seem at all out of place. The D’Addario brothers really are not shy in melding all their influences together and spewing them forth. Everything is there. And that interplay between the studious Brian and the miscreant Michael is one that makes a Lemon Twigs gig really work. It’s showy, rocky, theatrical, brash yet sublimely rich musically. I left the gig wanting more. And I left so downhearted I had to miss seeing them play Saint Luke’s in Glasgow last week. But I also left knowing I’ll want to see them again and again!

Spotify 2018 Listening Stats

I really, really do lve Silent Kiss ❤️😊😚

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The only pages I didn’t save were the ones giving me a link to my Top 100 Songs of 2018 playlist – which you’ll find a link to below – and the final “share” page to share your Spotify stats rundown via social media.

 

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

I’m still grappling about a trip home. There’s so many elements of it up in the air. Things seem to have calmed a bit back home. Mum is doing okay….in relative terms. My sister is feeling a little better…some tentative good news on the family health front is having her feeling not quite so helpless about things at the moment. She says for me not to rush home…and well, I can’t go any faster right now anyway. Limbo continues at least until prior to Christmas, most likely. Then air fares will probably be extortionate by then…and, seriously? The thought of Oz in Jan/Feb and even into March just makes me want to sit in a refrigerator.

The one thing Brits say to me when they realise I’m an Aussie, “but don’t you miss the weather?” HELL, NO! Actually….there’s a point…if you want some idea of what hell would feel like….visit Australia in January or February. Shit, it must have been strangely mild when the First Fleet landed there. How the hell did Arthur Philip not go “I don’t think this is right! Have we landed on the surface of the sun or something?” Lol

As time progresses, I keep fearing I’ll miss gigs that I’ve already invested tickets in. I mean…I see John Grant in a couple of weeks, so if I miss seeing him again in February, that won’t be so bad…but I am really, really getting into The Lemon Twigs right now. And I am kicking myself for not seeing they were playing at The Lexington after being at the Green Man festival.

My ticket to see them at Saint Lukes in Glasgow on Feb 22nd arrived just a couple of days ago. And their Roundhouse gig is five days after that.

I have Stranglers tickets booked for Bristol at the end of March as well…but of the three acts booked so far…I really want to see The Lemon Twigs. They are just so awesome sounding live. And the D’Addario boys…they are such interesting performers…Michael in particular is just…out there nuts! But how Brian counters that is equally interesting. Brian is cucumber cool and fairly still and has the softer voice, but Michael is restless, kinetic, erratic. I really want to see them!

But…if I have to miss them, I have to miss them. If it doesn’t work out, it’ll be bad luck. Oh, but look at what I’ll be missing! (My earworm tonight.)

Getting Twiggy With It!

These guys really have been my new find and love over the summer. If it had not been for the Green Man festival and seeing some of their set there, I may not have discovered them. But, boy, am I glad I did!

Sadly, at the moment, Brian is off the tour with Arctic Monkeys, as he has taken ill. But hopefully he will be fully recovered for February’s headline tour of the UK. I’ve already booked myself for their London gig at the Roundhouse, and I am now seriously considering adding Glasgow to that list…but I’ll have to check how many days they are apart, and whether there are actually any tickets for Glasgow left! I’ll let you know…

(Magazine article from this month’s Classic Rock)

 

February 2019 – The Start Of Next Year’s Gig List

They are starting to line up like dominos! Firstly, today John Grant announced more gigs for early next year, including Cambridge Corn Exchange on Feb 7th. Caezar play Oran Mor again on Feb 15th – I’m def. going! I’ve also committed to Ruts DC in Oxford on Feb 18th, and now, the Lemon Twigs have just announced a gig at the Roundhouse on Feb 27th.

February is already getting very full. Wow!