No false alarms and flashes of inspiration
Adrian Cross
15:08 17th June 2019

Two Door Cinema Club have walked through a lot of doors in their decade of genial indie pop. Tracks have turned up on Vampire Diaries, Grey's Anatomy, the Russell Howard Show and the band itself on US talk show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

With a fourth album, Flash Alarm, pending, they are back on the road after April's rousing performance at Oval Space as part of Annie Mac's AMP London event. Live club gigs alongside record shop signings are the outfit's launch mechanism for their latest offerings. 

Kingston's Pryzm, with its striking art deco ceiling is packed like a penguin colony as a shorn Alex Trimble and co kick off with False Alarm's first single 'Talk'. Like 2016's Gameshow, False Alarm borrows heavily from disco and the 1980s and, if anything, Kevin Baird's synth almost deposes Sam Halliday's lead guitar on it. If you close your eyes you'd think you were back in the heyday of the New Romantics. Released on the band's new Prolifica Inc. label it's produced with Jacknife Lee, who has collaborations with U2, REM and Killers to his name.

The surprise is only the album's three singles get an air. Does this timidity spell a lack of confidence in the new material or do TDCC simply aim to please their loyal devotees? 'Satellite' and 'Dirty Air' could be the The Human League or Depeche Mode. 

There's a stirring. uplifting melancholia, reminiscent of Elbow, in many of their songs, most notably on Beacon's 'This Is The Life'. As ever the County Down trio  wheel out a number of hits from their undistilled indie debut, Tourist History. 'I Can Talk', ‘Undercover Martyn'  and 'What You Know' still rock the faithful. They feel like songs where the chords are in a rush to get home and are hurrying the lyrics through. The catchy 'Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ from Gameshow is another live staple.

'Something Good Can Work' appeared in The Inbetweeners and in a way that sums up TDCC; somewhere not quite completely defined between the twin poles of indie and electronica, but if their social critique lacks real bite they do have the knack of penning irresistibly vibrant songs. 

And it was good to get a bit of 'Sun' to round the set off, one of Two Door's most interesting melodies structurally. 


Photo: Richard Gray