Words by Bethany Madden
As the Chicago five-piece Twin Peaks jumped into their first song, the energy benchmark was set for the rest of the show. Although the Deaf Institute venue is only moderate in size, this group’s following are committed. No sooner had the first strum of a guitar sounded than a mosh pit was in full swing to the delight of the smirking band.
The acknowledgement of Joy Division’s Mancunian roots is evidence that they’ve done their homework on knowledge as well as talent, but that doesn’t stop them simultaneously shaking it off with their blasé and jovial nature, as they launch into lyrics about letting “all their bad vibes go”. The idea must have been playing on guitarist Clay Funkel’s mind, as he later grooves during ‘Wanted You’ in a rage reminiscent of Ian Curtis’ signature style.
Whilst a Joy Division reference may be obvious, it’s the ‘She Bangs The Drums’ remark which seems more impressive, especially considering the repeated US failures of The Stone Roses. An eclectic array of sounds can be heard – classic bands such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles have been cited as influences in the past, whilst there is also a touch of country that weaves throughout, especially in songs such as ‘Walk To The One You Love’.
The set saw a mix of songs from 2014 album Wild Onion, such as ‘Found A New Way’, ‘Flavour’ and ‘Making Breakfast’, the kind of songs that you recognise even if you’re not quite sure how you know them. There was more focus towards upcoming album Down In Heaven, with recent single ‘Butterfly’ getting one of the best reactions, whilst lesser known ‘My Boys’ and ‘Keep It Together’ also seemed to aptly quench the crowd’s thirst.
Twin Peaks are the kind of band who force you to acknowledge their presence by creating a hub of onstage energy that the room can both feed off and contribute to. An unapologetic leap from the stage onto the bar during their third song is the kind of behaviour that reinforces the punk attitude that lines the seams of their music and live shows in a way that welcomes you in and reminds you not to take yourself so seriously.
The gig took place on Sunday 17 April, 2016, at The Deaf Institute and was promoted by DHP.