Two Door Cinema Club at the O2 Academy Birmingham – 24.01.2017

In this, the first show of their sell out UK tour, the indie-pop stalwarts provide a night of nostalgia.

With Two Door Cinema Club’s first British tour for four years, in support of Gameshow, their first album for four years, it comes as a surprise – albeit a nice one – that they opt against ramming new material down our throats. The opening four numbers all come from debut album, Tourist History. Full of adolescent anthems, they unleash Cigarettes in the Theatre, Undercover Martyn, Do You Want It All? and This Is the Life; beginning at breakneck speed. In fact, all of this seminal indie-pop album is showcased bar You’re Not Stubborn. As a result, the show is relentless, as the nature of Two Door songs don’t allow for respite. Their shows should come with hazard warning, advising bringing a waterproof jacket, or a towel, such is the intense perspiration amongst the crowd.

The Chris Martin-current-midlife-crisis-dirge-inspired, nightmarish-Avicci-club-like, actually Madeon-produced Changing of the Seasons follows. If Tourist History is the Chris Tarrant or Takeshi’s Castle of albums, then the Changing of the Seasons EP is more Dale Winton’s fake tan or the 2016 remake of the Crystal Maze. Certainly proving to be the musical Weakest Link of the night.

On the subject of Gameshows, the Northern Irish outfit have followed The 1975 down the wondrously colourful (and evidently fruitful) alley of disco with their 2016 album Gameshow. Bad Decisions, an album highlight, is similarly a live stand out from the new album, as primitive pogoing turned to groovier grinding. The closest thing to a rest we would be gifted all night. Frontman Alex Trimble clearly took whatever post-AM Alex Turner has been taking. He occasionally relinquishes his guitar and swaggers around stage, scaling new vocal heights on the falsetto-driven Je Viens De La.

Not too much was said by the band throughout the hour and a half set, asides from showing genuine gratitude to the crowd. Instead the instruments did the talking as impressive lead guitarist, Sam Halliday, made his guitar sing with the instantly recognizable delicate finger picking and furious friction-inducing strumming sounds. Understated and perhaps underestimated, Halliday is a modern day guitar hero of British indie, just see futuristic I Can Talk and first ever single Something Good Can Work. First started on MySpace ten years ago, most of the crowd wouldn’t have remembered this release as, to my surprise, the crowd was full of excitable youths. This as opposed to being surrounded by similar-aged adults seeking to recapture our secondary school, long hair-swishing, inbetweener, indie kid heyday, when the only worries we had were if the girl you liked poked you back on Facebook and avoiding detentions from weary teachers who didn’t find phallic-shaped graffiti on textbooks amusing. A form of escapism from the endless war waged against dissertations, grad jobs and general adult life that I currently live. What is evident then, is that Two Door’s music still resonates with teenagers as it did with me ten years ago. From the height of my high horse everyone seemed to have a great time, even if it was a school night, after the ten o’clock curfew, in the middle of GCSE mock season.

The main set ends with a rousing rendition of Sun from 2012’s Beacon. As the horns escalate, serotonin levels rise to new heights. Two Door Cinema Club are THE feel good indie-pop band that carry great sentimentality for so many. Finishing with What You Know, those with any energy left leave everything on the O2 Academy dancefloor. And if I know anything, Two Door Cinema Club’s return is certainly a welcome one, definitely an enjoyable one and undoubtedly a sweaty one.