"We wanted to look back before we could go forward," said Twilight Sad frontman James Graham in a recent interview with Gigwise about touring to play flawless debut album, Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters in its entirety.
It's an album worth celebrating - a relentless barrage of dynamic rock that's somehow both embryonic and heavy as hell, feral yet controlled. A sort of defiantly Scottish form of mesmeric post-rock, critics have often struggled to give it a genre. Few once toyed with the phrase 'nu-gaze', but that is the lamest thing we've ever heard.
Give it a name if you must, but only The Twilight Sad can do this. Stepping on stage to the ghostly echoing notes of opener 'Cold Days From The Birdhouse', the Scots immediately weave an inescapable web of haze and hypnotic wonder, before an explosion of glorious noise bursts and Allen rushes from a trance into the jerking maniacal movements of a man possessed.
The same follows with the fan favourite 'That Summer At Home, I Had Become The Invisible Boy'. The band couldn't be any more involved in the music, and the same can be said for the audience. We're not sure what a 'cult' entails these days, but we can say that the lucky few packed into this East London sweatbox bloody love this band, and love this record - the enthralled reception showing that the chorus of 'the kids are on fire, in the bedroom', ring true with more than a few who lost countless dark nights winter nights to this album when it was released in 2007 - and many, many since.
This album NEEDED revisiting, as the sheer and underrated class of the band has only grown greater with age. The twisted magnificence and haunting romance of 'And She Would Darken The Memory' remains, but sounds better than ever when played by a band in their prime. Allen's performance is one hell of a spectacle, for the eyes and ears, and can we take a moment to point out that drummer Mark Devine is a bloody machine. Hats off to you sir.
Introducing closing track 'Three Seconds Of Dead Air' as "a song we used to fucking hate, but I'm glad we're playing it again", we can't help but agree. As the brutal wall of sound falls on all present, there's no sense of nostalgia. Revisiting this seminal masterpiece only heightened the hunger for their next album. In looking back, we're reminded of how forward-thinking The Twilight Sad have always been.
The Twilight Sad played:
Cold Days From the Birdhouse
That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy
Walking For Two Hours
Last Year's Rain Didn't Fall Quite So Hard
Talking With Fireworks/Here, It Never Snowed
Mapped by What Surrounded Them
And She Would Darken the Memory
I'm Taking the Train Home
Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Watching That Chair Painted Yellow
Three Seconds of Dead Air