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Twin Atlantic, live in London

Scottish alt-rockers cross the Great Divide and play the Roundhouse

You can take the boy out of Glasgow, but extracting Glasgow from the boy may be trickier. Last night the Scottish (so very Scottish) pop rock four-piece delighted Camden's Roundhouse – riding high, it seemed, on the back of latest LP The Great Divide. As they swerved between pretty balladry and punky panache, Classic Rock was there to take it all in. Many things were learnt in the process...

**Twin Atlantic know how to open a set ** From the off, Twin Atlantic have the crowd enraptured. Opener The Ones That I Love, also the first track from their wildly successful third album The Great Divide, is a slow and heartfelt number that belies the big, crashing sound they’re about to unleash on the Roundhouse. Following it with current single Hold On, they’ve got the crowd singing along to their every word. They might have strayed from their emo-inspired roots for the latest album, but their foray into a more mainstream sound has given them a room full of young fans hanging into their every word.

They’re pop punks at heart Sam McTrusty couldn’t be any more Scottish if he swaggered onto the stage in a kilt and a tam o’shanter, and Twin Atlantic aren’t afraid to embrace their roots. Their sparse guitars and powerful, soaring choruses make it easy to position them as veteran Scot-rockers Biffy Clyro’s younger, sprightlier cousins, but their influences are from a different place. Their abrasive on-stage energy is fully fired up by the time they launch into Fall Into The Party, which has playful pop-rock overtones that come from the same place as early Jimmy Eat World material. It’s Make a Beast of Myself, though, that really shows them at their best. It’s got everything by-numbers pop-punk tune should have – angst, melody and a chorus you want to wail along to. They’re best at the upbeat melodic stuff Mid set, the energy tails off, as the four-piece thrash their way through Edit Me. It’s one of their most upbeat tracks, but its frenetic guitar line falls victim to the booming acoustics of the Roundhouse. They return to form for the down-tempo Be A Kid, but the audience aren’t after the morose stuff, and the number of hands in the air falls to just two. It’s not long before they’re back on track, though – Rest in Pieces is another angsty tale of lost love, but it kicks enough ass for the playful snarl of I Am An Animal to follow nicely. There’s shades of Fall Out Boy and All-American Rejects in their opening riffs and it’s these emotionally-driven earworms that work best, with one exception: the stripped-down Crash Land, which sees guitarist Barry McKenna swap his axe for a cello, and it’s quite beautiful. Heart and Soul isn’t actually their best song It may be the record that catapulted them into the mainstream via the Radio 1 playlist, but Heart and Soul is still eclipsed by their epic 2011 breakthrough track, Free. Matching that call to arms to stick it to the man and follow your dreams was never going to be easy, and for all its fanfare, Heart and Soul falls just short of the mark. It’s a great song to close the set on, with its stomping rhythm and upbeat vibe, but it’s missing the raw emotion that makes Free, and even Make a Beast of Myself, so appealing. They’ve got it in them to write more where Free came from, though; when they pull out a big chorus, they do it incredibly well. They may be at the highest point of their career, but we haven’t seen the best of them yet.

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