In a post Laneway Festival haze, this solo mission to The Enmore Theatre on a Monday night was daunting to say the least. I could still taste Smirnoff Black, corrosive and sugary, clinging hard to my gums and the last eight hours at work had been hell. I was in no mood to do venture alone to Two Door Cinema Club. But the good news is that I dragged my sorry carcass there and I’m glad I did.
Tonight was an all-ages show. Despite my grumpy old-manish demeanour, I really don’t mind partying with the kids. I had experienced some of my favourite shows ever before I was allowed to drink a beer, so there’s something comforting in witnessing under-eighteens choosing to listen to some rock n roll instead of watching the latest episode of Glee or listening to Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O push the latest garbage by Black Eyed Peas. Maybe I’m being sentimental but it’s like the scene is being left in good hands when I see the enthusiasm shown by these youngsters at a show.
By the time I made my way into The Enmore – Sydney locals – Parades were already playing. I have to admit, I had only heard their studio work and not seen them live before tonight and I was really left speechless by the band. Technically precise and brimming with musicality, it seemed like Parades really took pleasure in crafting their songs. Even their instrumentals felt captivating instead of exuding self-indulgence that is more common-place with a lot of other bands.
Jonathan Boulet was excellent on drums, pinning off-kilter rhythms against the soaring vocal harmonies of Tim Jenkins and Daniel Cunningham up front and their penchant for the ethereal held true on their new songs too, where the kit was replaced with a drum-machine and the boys gave the crowd some Postal Service-esque treats.
After enduring some horrendous pop trance between bands (was that a cruel joke by the sound guys?), Two Door Cinema Club took to the stage. The enthusiasm of the youthful crowd reverberated around the room like pinballs. Alex Trimble greeted the punters in his likeable Irish brogue before launching into Cigarettes in the Theatre and their popular Undercover Martyn. By this time, the crowd were singing along and taking over chorus duties.
It had been around six months or so since Two Door Cinema Club first toured Australia for the 2010 Splendour In The Grass Festival and it showed. These four Northern Irish lads were now seasoned veterans of the stage, effortlessly pounding through Hand Off My Cash, Do You Want It All? and latest single Something Good Can Work with consummate ease and even threw out the classic “This is the best show we’ve ever done in Australia” call to the adoring crowd. After debuting a new song Hands and playing one of my personal faves You’re Not Stubborn, the night culminated with a couple of their biggest hits, What You Know and the crowd-favourite I Can Talk as an encore.
There was a certain swagger and confidence about the band this night. Whether induced by the deafeningly enthusiastic crowd, or whether it is a natural evolution to the hype lavished upon them in the last twelve months, Two Door Cinema Club were impressive.
From Sam Halliday’s unassuming cool on lead guitar, to the unbridled energy given by Kevin Baird on bass, they gave back everything that Sydney gave to them and gave us all something to remember.