Northern Irish band Two Door Cinema Club has been touring Australia as a headliner for the Field Day, Falls and Southbound festivals. I caught their sideshow with support acts The Jungle Giants and The Vaccines at the Hordern Pavilion on January 3. Two Door Cinema Club and The Vaccines are both touring fresh off the back of their releases of second albums Beacon and Come of Age, both released back in 2012.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Two Door Cinema Club as I always found their music to be suspiciously cheerful, plus their melodic indie-pop can verge on sounding unsophisticated. Considering the Hordern Pavilion show was an all-ages gig (and you know how I feel about those), odds weren’t in this particular concert’s favour. The conclusion is that actually Two Door Cinema Club are a great live act (and probably also that I need to take myself less seriously).
The Vaccines put on a solid opening performance with a tight, lively and well received show, but I came away feeling confused about the band’s identity and signature sound. The best parts of The Vaccines’ set were when singer Justin Young sang in his gravelly lower register, giving the band a slightly grittier edge that comes across in their recordings and seems to be missing from most of their live show.
Two Door Cinema Club were a refreshing contrast, with a performance so self assured they brought out most of their older big gun songs early on in the show rather than saving the crowd pleasers for the end. It was a risk that paid off, warming up the crowd to receive the newer material from Beacon.
The live format works well for Two Door Cinema Club, taking away some of the production value from their chirpy melodies and emphasising the trademark energy in the band’s indie-pop tracks. A highlight was ‘Something Good Can Work’ that sounded surprisingly current considering it was released in 2009.
Maybe Two Door Cinema Club aren’t so unsophisticated after all.
Photo by Tone Deaf.