LIVE REVIEW: The Twilight Sad, The Cluny, Newcastle

The Twilight Sad live at The Cluny, Newcastle Saturday 25 April 2015. Photographs by GJB Performance Photography/reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com

The Twilight Sad live at The Cluny, Newcastle Saturday 25 April 2015. Photographs by GJB Performance Photography/reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com

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ALTHOUGH they’re unlikely to transcend their current cult status, The Twilight Sad give the impression of an outfit riding a surge of momentum.

This certainly seemed the case on Saturday night when the Scots returned to The Cluny, playing a typically scorching show before an adoring capacity crowd.

The group - who hail from the small town of Kilsyth, near Glasgow - are no slouches in the studio, with last October’s Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave arguably their best album to date.

But even so there’s no question their natural habitat is on the live stage.

Characterised by vocalist James Graham’s glorious regional brogue and guitarist Andy McFarlane’s dense hurricanes of noise, the expanded five-piece’s performances are evocative, enveloping experiences, liable both to tug emotional chords and blow you off your feet through deafening volume.

Indeed, while never approaching their tinnitus-inducing loudest, the effect tonight was still akin to entering a wind tunnel, such is their inexplicable power to make even the most sturdy hairs stand on end.

More pertinently, however, I genuinely cannot recall seeing a band give so much to an individual show.

It was no gimmick either - as Graham explained, this was the first date on their entire European tour to have sold out - and the frontman channeled his gratitude in a showing of such primal, barely fathomable intensity it had beads steaming from his temples barely halfway through their opening number.

Ever an engaging presence, tonight he was practically impossible to take your eyes off, lost within his own existential world, elevating the likes of It Never Was the Same, I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want and I Became a Prostitute to quite staggering levels of resonance.

The ultimate peaks, though, were saved for their set’s conclusion, in the form of two truly special songs from 2007’s debut Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters.

The Twilight Sad live at The Cluny, Newcastle Saturday 25 April 2015. Photographs by GJB Performance Photography/reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com

The Twilight Sad live at The Cluny, Newcastle Saturday 25 April 2015. Photographs by GJB Performance Photography/reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com

Sandwiched either side of a similarly excellent Wrong Car, Cold Days From The Birdhouse found Graham’s impassioned tones soaring amid a din of ethereal, soul-stirring beauty, while the truly indispensable And She Would Darken The Memory supplied this memorable night with the overwhelming climatic swell it so deserved.

By now completely submerged in sweat, the singer returned one final time to express his thanks, and it was clear the appreciation worked both ways; the audience rising to a man who’d left absolutely everything on stage, uncovering scarcely-believable depths with sheer boundless commitment.

A marvel even by Twilight Sad standards, it was the sight and sound of a band set on generating their own momentum, proving once more why they inspire such devotion.

Photographs by GJB Performance Photography reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com

The Twilight Sad live at The Cluny, Newcastle Saturday 25 April 2015. Photographs by GJB Performance Photography/reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com

The Twilight Sad live at The Cluny, Newcastle Saturday 25 April 2015. Photographs by GJB Performance Photography/reproduced by kind permission of nemmblog.com