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Live Reviews

Gig Review: Two Door Cinema Club: One Trick Pony?

The Irish three-piece indie front start off their UK tour with a snap, crackle and pop (because they’re cereal now apparently).

I remember when I first heard TDCC (Two Door Cinema Club) on the radio. It was 2009, I was but a lowly 14 year old, Radio X was still XFM, and I fell in love with a little song called ‘I Can Talk’, which, unbeknownst to this Myspace band, would later come to be the encore for their sold-out comeback tour.

Much like other twentysomethings, I was excited to find out that TDCC were touring again, in a pursuit to ‘relive my youth’ as it were (I know, I haven’t even reached my mid-twenties, I apologise profusely).

One pint of cider in, I was surprised to feel out of place in a concert where people were too young to fling beer and resorted to throwing water across the audience. Are TDCC actually still relevant to the younger generation? Considering the last album was in 2012, I was surprised to see that the band still has a large teen following. Maybe that’s just me being an ignorant (adult?), but this doesn’t seem like a band that can stand the test of time.

While the warm up act, Sundara Karma, aren’t even worth mentioning (unless you like bland, generic indie music), the general atmosphere was instantly lit up on hearing the intro to head-bopping ‘Cigarettes in the Theatre’ from their debut 2010 album ‘Tourist History’. You could just feel the air filled with nostalgia and a relief that everyone’s favourite band were back and ready to show us a good time.

Most bands when going on a new tour will perform their new, slightly less loved album for the audience and rightly so. However, these guys knew where their fans’ loyalties lied and this was by far the first album. Song after song from their debut success were being played with just a peppering of their latest two albums, but the audience was loving it. Yet, there was a definite lull in the atmosphere when songs from the previous two albums were played, which poses the question: Are Two Door Cinema Club a one album pony?

‘Tourist History’ was met with an NME award for best album, the Choice Music Prize for 2010 Irish Album of the Year and was even certified platinum as of 2013. ‘Beacon’, the band’s second release in 2012 was undeniably less successful than ‘Tourist History’, with The Observer giving it a mere 2/5 stars. ‘Gameshow’, which was the band’s most recent 2016 release has barely charted top 50 in the US. Of course, all these stats and figures do not change the quality of the music itself, but ‘Tourist History’ set the bar and their last two albums have fallen short.

Although it was a good concert, I can’t help but feeling that the audience were there for one album and one album only. You could tell that fans didn’t care about ‘Lavender’, or ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ (songs from their 2016 release), but rather the songs that they remember jamming out to in their bedroom.

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