After an extended hiatus away from the game (and each other) Two Door Cinema Club headlined the final night of Leeds Festival in the Radio 1 / NME stage. Here’s what we learned from their glimmering and vibrant set.
They feel like a band reborn
“Let’s have some fun!” commands Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble, after the group bound onstage to ‘Kernkraft 400’ by Zombie Nation. It’s something they hadn’t been having much of: recent interviews have seen them talk of having to go their seperate ways for 18 months after constant touring opened the fissures in their relationship. But as they start their set, the cheers that greet ‘Cigarettes in the Theatre’, ‘Undercover Martyn’ and ‘Do You Want It All?’ are almost drowned out by the sound of hatchets being buried.
They play two new songs off album three ….
When it comes to previewing new material from third album, ‘Gameshow’ , the trio are keeping their powder dry. Most recent single ‘Bad Decisions’ is up first. Influenced by Prince and David Bowie, it’s the biggest curveball: lurid ’80s disco-funk, with Trimble’s Bee Gee falsetto practically demanding a light-up dancefloor, and lyrics that tackle millenials’ information overload (“Lately, I think I’ve had enough of generation every station/I can’t turn off”). It’s a theme later highlighted by screens that flash computer error code messages. Heralded by a sampled children’s choir, ‘ the similarly existential ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ is already reaping communal sing-a-longs. The band have talked about wanting to escape their itchy Foals-indie straightjacket: judging by the reception tonight, the gamble’s paid off. It’s the sound of a group evolving without overturning the pop applecart.
…While still keeping the flame burning for jittery guitar pop
While Disclosure co-headlining Leeds/Reading (the first dance group to do so) underlines the commercial baton being passed from rock to electronic music, Two Door Cinema Club still keep the flag flying. From the underrated ‘Changing of The Seasons’ to ‘Something Good Can Work’, to ‘I Can Talk’, they play with the fleet-footed urgency of a group frantically trying to Tipp-Ex out guitar music’s obituary. By the time of set closer ‘What You Know’, crowd members have released flares – billowing green and red smoke – and ticker tape showers the audience. “What a blast!” confirms Trimble, surveying the reaction.
Alex Trimble is now sporting a mid-western US drawl
Not only does look different from when we left the band in 2013, his speaking accent has a stateside twang, belying his time spent in Portland. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Irish flag being held aloft by fans down the front, you’d forget Two Door hail from County Down. Is it Alex Turner at Glasto all over again?