Clash Arena, Saturday 7pm

“This is a new song”, declares Phil Etheridge to a packed out Clash Arena. “It’s called can the sound man please sort out my fucking vocal feedback, now?”.

Ah, Mr Etheridge & Co. Where have you been? Writing another batch of Madchester-flecked pop firecrackers, you say? Really? Well, why didn’t you say so!

The Twang may not exactly rival Belle&Sebastian in the coy stakes at the best of times, but tonight how many cognacs and additional stimulants they’ve snaffled matters little, as their set is a revelation. Taking to the stage wielding enough ‘ave it gusto to send most bands running for the nearest portaloo, they don’t so much vie for your attention as flick you the V’s and slap you ‘upside the head with another chorus.

Musically, they’re tighter than a headlock from the burly security manning stageside, and whatever your opinion of the Brummie baggy-botherers, they sure know how to erupt a crowd. The last time we saw The Twang, their set was a promising set of singles (‘Either Way’, ‘Ice Cream Sundae’, ‘Wide Awake’) peppered with a sound akin to The Farm being chased through a council estate by The Happy Mondays.

Tonight, on the strength of future material, they’ve amassed a collection of towering choruses which should see them working their set into a hits-heavy monster, most of which are faster, funkier and as full-on as their demeanour. The Twang mark II? Sounding good from where we’re standing.

View photos of The Twang in our Rockness gallery
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