The Twilight Sad's forthcoming fourth full-length release, "Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave", is not the Glaswegians strongest. It falls short of measuring up to the nervous grey-sky brilliance of their debút and after the electronic explorations of its predecessor, 2012's "Forget The Night Ahead", it feels like a retreat and a retread. On top of this it contains no real immediate highlights, nothing that strikes up limbs like 'Another Bed' or engages the vocal chords like 'I Became A Prostitute'. It is by no means a bad album, far from it, but it doesn't feel like one made to be played live, and most bands would struggle to give justice, and maintain audience interest, with such an ebbing, structurally unremarkable work.

The Twilight Sad

Fortunately The Twilight Sad aren't most bands. When they play live their best track is the one they are playing, and the unremarkable becomes more than unremarkable; it becomes unmissable. Much of this is due to vocalist James Graham, who puts his entire body and soul into each track, hyper-extending limbs and screaming out words with such velocity and belief that they fill the room even when he jerks away from the microphone, towering above even the mightiest maelstroms that the other four members (two of which remind a touring concern only) of the band whip up.

In the eleventh year of the band's existence such abandon is a marvel, particularly when it is delivered in front of around a hundred (admittedly very dedicated) people on a weekday night. Delivered with such abandon 'There's A Girl In The Corner' and 'Last January', the opening couplet from "Nobody Wants to Be Here..." are wrought with an energy that is perhaps lacking on their recorded versions and the title track of the album is even more cloistering than it is on record, sounding like My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless' condensed into four minutes and left out to die in freezing, pouring rain.

The crowd's loudest cheers greet the selection of earlier material, most notably the aforementioned 'I Became a Prostitute' and their hit single (as they wryly refer to it on their own set-lists) 'That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy' but there are no lulls or moments of respite in a Twilight Sad set. There never have been, and there never will be. One can only speculate that just what the enigmatic title "Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave" could refer to, but one hopes that they aren't ready to leave just yet.


Jordan Dowling

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