All Tvvins in The Academy, Dublin, November 20th, 2015
When you combine former members of two of the best Irish bands in recent memory – The Cast Of Cheers and Adebisi Shank – the outcome is guaranteed to pique the interest of the alternative fraternity in Ireland. But with All Tvvins (or The Cast Of Shank as they are oft jokingly referred to in Dublin) Conor Adams and Lar Kaye have smelted the best parts of their previous endeavours into a swashbuckling indie electro sound propelled by intense guitar and bass riffs. The results are just as compelling as their previous releases; poppier and more accessible than ever before, but with no signs of compromise in approach to songwriting or the venom in which they attack their instruments. Having released three of the finest Irish singles of the year and wowing audiences across festival season, and more recently travelling around Europe supporting Metric, it was time to see how All Tvvins would fare as the main attraction to a sold out Academy.
Belfast’s Pleasure Beach are currently blazing their own trail as Northern Ireland’s most hyped band of 2015 thanks to the success of their EP, ‘Dreamer To The Dawn’, and their impressive debut single Go. Less than ten gigs into their career they find themselves playing support – they’ll be back in December when they open for The Vaccines – an amazing growth rate for a band that only formed in January. The five-piece are not phased as they appear through a cloud of dry ice and justify the hype with a tight performance of Arcade Fire meets Bruce Springsteen configurations with lashings of synths – four of them to be precise – and impressive five-part vocal harmonies, no more so than on their set closing rendition of hit single Go. But there’s enough here to suggest that Pleasure Beach are far from a one sound pony; expect guitar solos and a darkness only touched upon on their debut in future releases.
Without an album or even an EP to their name All Tvvins are in a not too dissimilar position to Pleasure Beach, in that they are playing to a crowd who only know a limited number of material. Sure, this is not the first All Tvvins show for many of those assembled, but nonetheless it’s a hard task for any band to bring a large crowd with them with such a limited form of knowledge. This makes All Tvvins’ performance all the more noteworthy.
From the opening notes of Thank You to the final applause, guitarist Lar Kaye plays the part of snake-charmer. He never stops moving, putting his entire body into every chord and synth line with seemingly boundless energy whilst Conor Adams belts out the vocals and basslines from a more stationary position stage left. Having played the Bataclan recently in support to Metric, the band stop briefly to reflect on the current situation in Paris and to pay their respects to staff and victims of the massacre.
All Tvvins plough through their set, the lesser-known material such as Desperate Soul, Too Much Silence, and The Fix just as impressive as their trio of hit singles to date; Adams and Kaye seemingly at the helm of a never-ending supply of catchy guitar riffs and bass hooks. This impressive performance indicates that All Tvvins’ debut album will be one of highlights of the Irish music calendar in 2016. They are fast becoming, if they’re not already, the best band in Ireland.