The Twang - 53 Degrees Preston - 22.2.07

It was Public Enemy who said don't believe the hype, a sentiment Designer Magazine can normally agree with whole heartedly. When discussing Birmingham's The Twang however, the hype is justified and you'd better believe it. Five likely lads with two very different singers. The Twang are going to be massive and to see them at the start of their career hungry for success and everything to prove it's an exciting time to witness such an important band.

Philip Etheridge, like a young Daniel Craig, rough and ready and intelligent kind of half raps, half speaks. The other vocalist is much more relaxed performer, dancing away, swaying, perhaps the worse for wear but showing love to the crowd. Martin Saunders is no Shaun Ryder wannabe. The vocals are spot on and he's the perfect foil to Phil and when the two interact it's an affectionate camaraderie that's impossible to fake. The Twang have a natural confidence and swagger but they're never aggressive or too cocky like Oasis.

Reminiscent of very early Happy Mondays and Flowered Up, The Twang have a funk dance element and there isn't a synthesizer in sight. Jon Watkin on bass plays like Mani and while he's no show off his playing is dynamite adding the groove to the Twang's sound. The crowd are convinced right from the start but it's the third song "Don't Wait Up" which proves the point
successfully with Stuart Hartland's clean, pristine guitar sound going from a melodious Johnny Marr style riff to a tremendous Dick Dale-esque surf guitar solo in a matter of minutes. "Ice Cream" is yet another of the Twangs potential hit singles and when Phil say's "you may have heard this one" as The Twang play "Wide Awake" a song which the word anthemic was invented for, a sweeping staggering unique sounds, part Doves with a sprinkling of early U2 yet original and memorable.

There's no wasting time with encores and The Twang play their little Brummie hearts out, win this city over and leave as heroes which isn't bad for a band who literally just signed to B Unique a few months ago

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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