herald

Thursday 2 October 2014

Join the fan club of northern boys

OH, to be able to move like Sam Halliday. Dude's got amazing feet, you know. There's even a Facebook page dedicated to this young man's impressive footwork. He's also quite the guitarist. Which is just as well, given Halliday's present company.

Indeed, there is no room for messing about when it comes to Two Door Cinema Club. Their debut album, Tourist History, clocked in at just over half an hour.

Last year's follow-up, Beacon, stretched to 40 minutes. Not much fuel for their largest headline show to date.

Then again, Alex Trimble (baby-faced frontman), Kevin Baird (handsome bass player) and the aforementioned Halliday, pack more into a three-minute electro pop number than most bands do in an entire album. In short, they've come prepared. And they're ready to leave a mark.

A mesmerising light show and a massive net of balloons hanging from the ceiling (guess what happens when they come loose) says these lads are now playing with the big boys.

But little else has changed for the Northern Irish trio.

They're still a ridiculously tight live unit -- a smart club band (if you'll excuse the pun) that always had an eye on the bigger stage.

"We're here to play music," nods Trimble. Which is to say that he and his co-workers prefer to let the tunes do the talking.



Skinny

Five minutes in, and Undercover Martyn brings us right back to that famous first record. Something Good Can Work is about as perfect a pop song that you could hope to write, with Halliday's scintillating riffs proving time and time again how simple yet marvellous a sound this band continues to make.

Beacon has its moments, too (the superb Sun being one of them), but for now, we're still getting high on the past.

It helps that the guys (trendy 20-somethings -- all skinny jeans and sharp haircuts) are as fun to watch as they are to listen to.

Baird looks as though he's got the greatest job in the world. Halliday can't stay still. As for the touring drummer, well, he clearly can't believe his luck. Nor can Trimble, whose charming vocal is what separates this band from their peers.

Pausing for a moment's reflection near the end, the humble singer admits that he's lost for words.

They're only with us for 75 minutes, but again, there's no messing about. "We'll be back soon," he says. We can't wait.

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