The Twang have spent over a decade defying expectation. From their beginnings in their Birmingham home town, written off by most of the local scene as the band that wouldn’t make it, through a year of hype and madness and out the other side, they simply did what they had always done; kept making music and playing it to people.
So, whilst a clutch of tracks on ‘Either Way, It’s The Best Of The Twang’ will be immediately familiar to anyone who was listening to Radio One in 2007, that triple whammy of playlist conquering songs that is ‘Either Way’, ‘Wide Awake’ and ‘Two Lovers’, some may be surprised to know that the album contains many more singles and album tracks that are regarded by those who have supported the band since that debut as their finest moments. The likes of ‘Barney Rubble’, ‘Encouraging Sign’ and ‘Took The Fun’ from ‘Jewellery Quarter’, a trio of tracks that perfectly demonstrate The Twang’s ability to move from cracking dance floor pop to tender love songs with heart melting choruses, show how the band’s musical trajectory post the hype of their debut was resolutely upward. Listen to ‘We’re A Crowd’ or ‘Mainline’ from third album 10:20 and you hear a band confident of their abilities and still pushing forward, adding flashes of Midlands ska and orchestration to songs that are unafraid to talk about wider issues.
For The Twang were always more than they were painted. Formed and developed by the sheer will of Jon Watkin and Phil Etheridge and stymied by various line-up changes in their early incarnations as neontwang, the pair persevered in finding the right combination that would bring their dream of making the band in their heads a reality. Dig into the tracks on ‘Either Way’ and you hear a band that love music, that believe in music as redemption, as a power that can turn grey lives into technicolour. Listen to the composition and you hear a band that grew in power with every album, honing that youthful exuberance and cavalier attitude of their debut into the more muscular tones of ‘Neon Twang’ and feeling free to experiment
more by ‘10:20’, recorded in their own studio in the Jewellery Quarter. Listen to the lyrics and you hear tales of sorrow and love and exuberance, punctuated by a sharp wit that, to date, has never been given its due. Few could make rejection sound as romantic as Phil on ‘Beer, Wine And Sunshine’. ‘Either Way’ is the real story of The Twang. Songs that came from the twin poles of a love of club music from house to drum and bass and classic indie types from The Smiths to The Stones Roses. The former is there in that post club community that inspired both the music and the vibe of set and album closer ‘Cloudy Room’, (remixed for this release to capture more of the energy of its live
counterpart), the latter in the melodies of ‘Two Lovers’ and the lazy day inner city psychedelia of ‘Beer, Wine And Sunshine’. It is a tale of pride in each other, of the power of dreams to beat the odds not just once but repeatedly. It is the soundtrack to thousands of ordinary people’s lives and loves, the music that has repeatedly filled concert halls across the UK full of people who know more than anyone else that The Twang’s music makes the world a better place.
‘Either Way, It’s The Best Of The Twang’ Tracklist:
Barney Rubble – Took The Fun – Either Way – Back Where We Started – Paradise – Encouraging Sign – We’re A Crowd – Mainline – Got Me Sussed – Ice Cream Sundae – Beer, Wine And Sunshine – Whoa Man – Two Lovers – Wide Awake – Guapa – Cloudy Room
Those people will be out again for ‘a little dance’ come December when The Twang play a host of dates across the UK, culminating in their now traditional Christmas hometown bash in Brum.
All UK dates are as follows
29 Bournemouth The Old Fire Station
30 Leeds O2 Academy
01 Manchester O2 Ritz
02 Glasgow O2 ABC
08 Oxford O2 Academy
09 London O2 Forum Kentish Town
14 Sheffield O2 Academy
15 Newcastle O2 Academy
16 Leicester O2 Academy
21 Bristol O2 Academy
22 Liverpool O2 Academy
23 Birmingham O2 Academy
‘Either Way, It’s The Best Of The Twang’ is out now.