Review: The Late Twos – HMV Belfast 4/07/2015

Local Belfast band The Late Twos performed a free, afternoon gig in HMV in the midst of one of Belfast’s busiest times of the year – the Tall Ships festival.

For an up and coming band this festival atmosphere could only work in their favour and indeed for a small gig, The Late Twos attracted a considerable crowd to hear what they had to offer. The five piece band was formed in late 2010 and in that space of time have produced two EPs and their single “Never Mind.”

Without a word the band immediately kick off their set and what is striking from the start is how despite having a small stage the band aren’t put off by it, instead lead singer Matty is dancing and making full use of their space. Their sound is ultimately influenced by a range of musical styles from indie toT pop punk to Brit pop and this is evident within their first two fast paced songs. They bring it down a notch slightly with their more melodic offering of “Modette to Ladette.” This is the first song that the audience seem very familiar with, singing along to it and indeed it is easy to imagine this song in particular being belted out at a summer festival. It has that certain irresistible summer, anthem-like quality.

Keeping the audience on their toes after this slower number they jump right into the faster paced “Get Down Before I Pull You Down” and even from the title of this song the influence of Arctic Monkeys is evident. Like Arctic Monkeys, The Late Twos have a laid back, down to earth attitude and their music deals with similar topics such as parties, drinking and get togethers. Yet alongside this laid back attitude their enthusiasm for performing shines out and it highlights simply how comfortable they are on stage.

A dramatic, guitar infused build up at the start of “Get Down Before I Pull You Down” won’t be the first occasion during this gig that the band’s music can be strongly compared to the heavy, fast paced but melodic sounds of The Vaccines. The Vaccines’ music is absolutely emboldened by the degree to which it is associated with summer music festivals and it is increasingly difficult throughout The Late Twos’ set to not imagine their music being played at a sunny festival. Indeed it is the simplicity of the chorus of “Get Down Before I Pull You Down” that renders this song particularly infectious to sing along to and gives off the sense that this band are really hitting the nail on the head with potential festival anthems.

Providing relief from the declamatory “Get Down Before I Pull You Down” is the slower paced “Sierra Leone” which is the first song thus far to really showcase the vocal range of lead singer Matty. Hitting the high notes in the chorus coupled with an impressive guitar solo, “Sierra Leone” despite not being one of the band’s better known songs really showcases, overall, the musical skill of The Late Twos.

The remainder of their gig is comprised of songs that the audience would be most familiar with such as “Don’t Wanna Stop This Dance” and their self titled track “The Late Twos.” These songs in particular feel as though they are the ones that the band themselves enjoy playing the most. Encouraging the audience to sing along, their lyrics are difficult to resist engaging with, especially their self titled track that sings about “A fridge full of Stella and a bag full of songs.” It is The Late Twos’ layered sound that moves from pop punk to something more reminiscent of The Strokes, combined with relatable lyrics, that makes their music so gripping and ensures the fact that they have much more in store.

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