Thursday, 18 March 2010

Two Door Cinema Club at Birmingham Academy

There was some fitting St Patrick’s Day fare from Northern Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club at Academy 3 last night and, even though most of the audience looked too young to have been on the Guinness, they weren’t acting like it. There is little adoration as powerful as the adoration of 16 year-olds for their favourite band, but over some serious handclaps and word-perfect singalongs it sounded like this lot might have made a poor choice when preparing their tunes for time on the road.

Birmingham is hardly known for great audiences at gigs, but a new generation in the surprisingly well lit Academy 3 suggest that the future might be different. Bouncing from the opener, singing throughout most recent single ‘Undercover Martyn’ and hardly stopping for breath until the encore, the atmosphere was frenetic. An especially energetic welcome was reserved for ‘What You Know’, yet to be released but all over the Hype Machine, and surely pencilled in to the immaculately kept Moleskine diaries at Kitsuné HQ.

Sadly, though, the sharp synthesized drums of the band’s recordings have been replaced by an actual human being - an attempt, the press release assures us, to bolster their live sound. However, cool electronic drum sounds complement their art rock perfectly, making last night's live drumming sound messy. This was especially true of ‘Costume Party’ which, after the intro, had the synth and guitar parts so low in the mix that they drowned under splashy cymbals.

Because of this, the live show straddled indie dance a little uncomfortably and I found myself silently willing the band, as they tuned their guitars through the great wash of electronic sound that introduced the encore, to just put them down instead. Unfortunately psychic abilities are no more advanced in Bangor than it is in Birmingham and they launched into yet another arch dance tune transformed into something you would hear in the main room at Propaganda.

The closer was ‘I Can Talk’ which, despite having an intro that has dined out with Delphic’s ‘Doubt’, finally sounded like the band promised by their debut album. The band are set to explode all over this summer's festivals, but they might be wise to rethink what they offer as a live act before they go out to win any more fans.

The amazing 'Undercover Martyn':