Twin Shadow

Date: 29 January
Venue: The Cockpit, Leeds
Rating: ***

The biggest anticipation surrounding the gig was to hear George Lewis Jr.’s solo project played by a four man band. My second was seeing The Cockpit for the first time, and on entering a room of about six people I got a little disconcerted; even more so when the first act came on and nearly sung Happy Birthday to a girl called Gaby in the crowd, but luckily they’d ‘forgotten the words’. They went on to ask, ‘Has anyone heard of Twin Shadow? [no response] You should stick around, they’re good.’. I’m sure it was a joke.

By the time Twin Shadow came on after the second support act, Chad Valley the venue was pretty full and buzzing. Lewis Jr.’s band were perfect, but the set faltered straight away with technical issues on the keyboard, and the problem endured even after they’d leapt into “Shooting Holes” which was electrifyingly fast paced. Some of the climbing harmonies between the bass player and Jr. were memorably haunting, especially on the standout track of the night, “Castles in The Snow”. But with only one album and no encore, the gig lasted much less than an hour with no surprise covers and little banter with the crowd. The band format lost a lot of the new wave 80’s dance element of “Slow”, “Yellow Balloon” and “Tether Beat” due to the lack of punchy electronic drum samples that pervade the album, and the set’s brevity didn’t provide a chance to make amends.

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