THE LEMON TWIGS – LIVE IN MANCHESTER! WHAT HAPPENED?
Walking into New Century Hall for the first time is quite a thing – with it’s grade II listed original spring dance floor, mesmerising ceiling of ever-changing lights and overall beauty, it’s obvious that this is a class venue boasting class acts.
Tonight is no exception…. Drum roll…. All Hail the brothers D’Addario, Brian and Michael, AKA The Lemon Twigs. They didn’t so much as form; it seems that they were formed before they were even a twinkle in their musician father’s eye. Adding the fact their mother was an actress, they were both multi instrumentalists from a young age, as well as actors.
Brought up on Long Island, New York, with a vast array of musical influences, a flair for composing, singing, drumming, guitaring, bassing and performing, it seemed inevitable they were to become so loved and respected in music.
Both still very young, they were 16 and 18 years old when they released their first album on the revered label 4AD. Do Hollywood received critical acclaim for its quirky arrangements and bittersweet, often dark and satirical lyrics. Echoes of Bowie vs The Birds vs Frankie Valley, vs Neil Young vs TRex, hooks for days and outrageously good musicianship meant they were immediately a stand-out act.
Younger brother Michael drums (and looks) like the bastard love-child of Karen Carpenter and Keith Moon (a very good thing) but watching him upfront with his guitar is somethings else. In fact both Michael and Brian are phenomenal guitarists, with Micael playing a 12 string, and their vocal harmonies take us back to late 60’s early 70’s San Francisco.
On tour with them this time around is their old school friend and long time band member Danny Ayala switching between keyboards and bass. In fact all members of the band play multiple instruments, swapping and changing regularly depending on which brother composed the song. Such a treat to watch such brilliant musicians doing their thing.
4 albums in, the overall feel of each is different, but The Lemon Twigs keep the overall tone of the gig as up tempo as you could hope for, opening with single “The One” and throwing us some firm favourites such as their 2017 single “I wanna Prove to You”, and a lovely, lovely rendition of The Beatles’ “I’ll Be Back”
The encore saw Brian perform 2 pretty beautiful acoustic songs from the new album ‘Everything Harmony’, again reminding us of how this band can never be pigeon-holed, and their deep-rooted love of folk.
To finish, the magnificent first single from back in 2016 – “As Long as We’re Together” oh wow, an absolutely brilliant song that taps into something in every single human, and has the whole crowd bellowing those words out along with the band. Funny how that already seems like a old favourite, but they have stunned us with so many other great tracks since that it actually is.
Curve ball of the night – they omitted “The Fire” – kind of like killing Janet Leigh’s character off in Psycho so soon – possibly a genius move, but it was a noticeable omission.
The Lemon Twigs really are a couple of kooks, the most quirky, un-pigeon hole-able breath of fresh air and if you get a chance to see them, don’t miss it.