shot06_060h@Newcastle O2 Academy, October 28 2014

Three years since their last headline gig in Newcastle, Twin Atlantic brought their now stadium sized anthems back to the O2 Academy.

Packing the venue with an eclectic mix of young and old, male and female fans, it wasn’t hard to see the full spectrum of support for one of Britain’s hottest rock properties. 

Hopping from St. James’ Park to Glastonbury, the lads from Glasgow have arrived in the big time. But in the sweaty halls of an old picture house it’s a different beast: back to basics but with a huge amount of added hype.

Warming the crowd with Bohemian Rhapsody just before walking on stage negated any need for the impressive warm up acts supplied by Nothing But Thieves and The Xcerts. Voices becaming instantly lubricated in a simple yet effective move.

Identical to latest album, Great Divide, a slow and atmospheric start was chosen to kick off the night with Ones That I Love, quickly shattered with a raucous rendition of Hold On.

Every time the pace of the performance threatened to run away from them, the boys from Glasgow pulled on the leash and brought the night to a much needed stroll. From the punchy rock rhythms of Fall Into The Party and Make A Beast of Myself, into the swirling and sultry Be A Kid, Sam McTrusty and co. dictated the pace – swaying from stadium anthems to ballads and back again and never letting the crowd’s attention waver.

A curtain drop introduced a wall of lights and accompanying videos, delivering on the promise of greater stage production and more bang for your buck this time round.

But it wasn’t just flashy lights on show with the infamous drum solos normally a rare commodity in gigs nowadays, relished with aplomb by stick man Craig Kneale. It’s easy to see why his nickname is borrowed from a certain Muppet character.

I Am An Animal once again jump started the tempo. With Actions That Echo and in particular Yes I Was Drunk bringing further respite and stand out performances with its slow build and soaring guitar riffs.

Sung back to the band with added gusto, Free received the loudest reception until the very next song. Crash Land provided an acoustic breather in the midst of frantic and high octane rock was the undoubted highlight of the night. A delicious recipe of McTrusty’s emotive vocals, Barry McKenna’s soulful cello and a whole lot of crowd interaction.

The band’s back catalogue now spans three albums and it’s a breath of fresh air that fans aren’t just coming to the party now. They’ve been here for years and on this showing, they’ll be round for a while yet.

The band’s encore provided a snapshot of the entire evening, with the melodic Oceans preceding the energy infused Brothers And Sisters finally leading into the fist pumping Heart & Soul.

With Twin Atlantic’s stock rising by the year, it’s a fairly safe bet this will be the last time the Glaswegians will play a smaller venue in Newcastle, as the band get set to cross the divide into rock royalty.

Andy Spoors