Have you ever stepped foot into a time machine?
No, me neither. But seeing The Lemon Twigs perform live is the next best thing.
Despite both being in the prime of their life, their music resembles that of a sixties band. It’s one of the only gigs I’ve ever been to where people actually danced. That’s right, no pushing and shoving. Just dancing.
This by no means meant that the room wasn’t full of life. Quite the opposite in fact. I’ve never felt so much energy in a room.
The opening act Flyte were perfectly suited for the night. With a mix of upbeat danceable tunes and slow, brooding ballads (and an acapella number thrown into the mix!) their varied set foreshadowed what we were about to experience with The Lemon Twigs.
Flyte are definitely one to look out for.
The second the D’Addario brothers stepped on stage, with keyboardist Danny Ayala and bassist Megan Zeankowski, it was like being transported out of 21st century Manchester and into another era.
The outfits; pointed lapels, flares and sequins. The lighting. The keyboard. The Lemon Twigs know exactly how to take you back to a time when music was just so damn cool. And that is something that I am 100% okay with.
The power they brought to the stage with the opening song I Wanna Prove to You was unlike any other. With flashing lights in a multitude of colours, and beats that would make even the hardest heart want to tap their toes, it was clear from the get-go that this was going to be a lot of fun.
One thing that struck me straight away was despite the eclectic mix of teenagers covered in glitter and older folk sipping pints, everyone in the room got involved with the sing-a-longs.
The atmosphere at a Lemon Twigs show is so safe and inclusive that I couldn’t see anyone feeling out of place there.
Even during the nihilistic, gorgeously downbeat ballad Beautiful, the energy in the room was so alive. Brian’s voice is the kind of voice that could sing anything and you’d feel at peace with the world.
It is the happiest I could’ve possibly been when wailing along to the lyrics “I can’t do anything, I am nothing, our lives are meaningless.” And judging by the participation throughout the room, I wasn’t the only one feeling it.
The mix of nihilism and content in the room at that moment is one of the best gig-memories I have ever made.
When the D’Addario brothers swapped instruments midway through the set, it was clear that energy wasn’t the only thing bursting through the room. There was enough talent in the Ritz on Friday night to fill a thousand rooms.
One of the things that makes The Lemon Twigs such an incredible thing to watch, is how versatile these two siblings are. Regardless of what instrument they are on, they own it.
A highlight of Michael’s performance was Night Song. Watching him do the splits in mid-air, high-kick and not miss a note in his guitar solo was like watching a rock legend in action. And the crowd let him know that his efforts weren’t unappreciated.
The Lemon Twigs fans are all out for a good time, and that is part of what makes their gigs such a good time.
The track As Long As We’re Together was one of the most passionate performances I’ve ever witnessed. With both brothers providing fierce vocals, that end in climatic near-screaming and every instrument on the stage being thrashed to within an inch of its life. Truly, if the set had ended their it would’ve still ended on a high.
But fans with as much love as these aren’t going to let their idols slip away that easily. The band were called back for an extra two tracks, which they more than willingly provided.
Even with those extra two tracks, I still haven’t had enough of them. I’m eagerly awaiting their next Manchester date.
Catch The Lemon Twigs in Birmingham on Tuesday 14th November or London Wednesday 15th, trust me you won’t regret it.
Listen to their EP Brothers of Destruction here:
Featured Image Credit: AUTUMN DE WILDE