Thick sheets of freezing rain blurred our vision and frizzed my freshly straightened hair as we hastily made our way up Granville on Thursday night. Our destination? The Commodore Ballroom of course. We arrived a little later than usual and the support were already well into their set as we entered the venue. Steam seemed to rise from those, who like us, were running a little behind as we all entered the warmth of the ballroom. However despite having had the heavens open up upon us, and having to pay separately per piece at coat check (really?), our spirits remained far from dampened, excitement at the thought of seeing Belfast trio Two Door Cinema Club winning over instead.
As my companion made his way to the side, I was prompted to make my way front of stage with the other photographers. Sitting there, staring into space as I waited for Sam Halliday, Kevin Baird and Alex Trimble to appear before us, I began to think of the amount of times I had heard the band come on the radio and how I would sing along to their songs at the top of my voice, completely out of tune, deafening those who were unlucky enough to be in my presence at the time in the process… It was going to be a great night.
The main objective of Two Door Cinema Club’s latest North American tour was of course to promote their second album – Beacon. Having previously reviewed the album which was produced by Jacknife Lee, I was already familiar with Beacon. Despite not being as taken with their latest effort as I had been with debut album Tourist History, I was still looking forward to hearing some of the songs I had become so familiar with during my research of the newest release. Following the unquestionable success of their first album, and despite the second album not being quite what I had expected, I knew that, to many, the lovely Irish lads could do no wrong.
As they came onstage, some of the shrillest screams I have heard in my life erupted from the audience and continued on as lead vocalist Alex Trimble greeted the hyper sea of followers below him. I struggled to prevent myself from singing along as I worked – yes; I am quite the epitome of professionalism I assure you. As I took in the music, I also took in the guys themselves. At any other time, they could pass for three ordinary guys; a little nerdy, a little on the quiet side and as for headman Alex himself – very, very Irish. However, from the moment they arrived on stage they looked completely at home and exuded a quiet confidence as they took command of the entire room, the only exception perhaps being the absolutely adorable Sam Halliday. As the photographers took turns in front of each member of the group, instead of posing like his band member Kevin, Sam’s eyes remained determinedly locked on the ground, his guitar or the mic in front of him, his body language clearly portraying the utter discomfort he felt at being scrutinized by the media.
Once we had finished photographing the guys, I made my way back to the audience and really began to enjoy myself, taking myself back to those days in front of my radio and danced and sang along with the revelers surrounding me. My companion on the night, who had never heard of Two Door Cinema club previous to this, bopped his head along beside me and I knew the guys had almost certainly gained a brand new shiny fan.
Like that of an angelic Irish ginger angel, Alex’s heavily accented yet gentle voice floated out over the audience and enraptured us so much so that it felt like we were right there in the world of each song , even making me a little homesick for Ireland. Playing more renowned songs from their first album, such as “Undercover Martyn“, “I Can Talk” and “Something Good Can Work”, the show was of course dedicated to showcasing Beacon. Catchy songs such as “Sun”, “Sleep Alone”, “Next Year” and “Handshake“, were ticked one by one off the Belfast Boy’s set list.
As the night came to an end, I was forced back to reality when I realized I would have to stand in a line a mile long unless I went to retrieve my belongings from coat check before the set ended. Two songs into the encore and I indicated to my plus one that I was begrudgingly going to head out to get my stuff. Just then Two Door Cinema Club burst into their final and my most beloved Two Door Cinema Club song – “What You Want”. The fleeting yet definite pained look that crossed my face caught the eye of my dear friend as I immediately launched into sing-along mode grabbing my arm to get my attention he motioned that he was going to stand in line for me while I made a fool of myself one final time along with everyone else in the room. Thank you!
These guys may not come across as your typical alternative rock band, but let me assure you, these guys are going to be around for quite some time to come – a certain victory for indie underdogs everywhere!
Read my review of Two Door Cinema Club’s album Beacon here.