London 06 Review – New-Noise
The Twilight Singers – Live@ Garage, London
By James Hickie
He may look like a cross between Frankie Howerd and Joaquin Phoenix but Greg Dulli is a man who has had countless relationships with women, the tormented nature of them fuelling his songs in his previous band The Afghan Whigs and now in The Twilight Singers.
It helps that these songs – more recently showcased on the radar-dodging but critically lauded album ‘Powder Burns’ – have a sexy blues swagger, which makes them impossible not to connect with. Whilst his contemporaries have gone on to stadium crowds and huge acclaim, Dulli is a man happy baring his soul with his brutally frank, soul-bearing songs whilst getting down and dirty with a club crowd. Getting down and dirty is hard to avoid in the dangerously sweltering conditions of the Garage when The Twilight Singers stop off in the capital as part of their short UK tour.
The gritty bass and pounding keys of ‘I’m Ready’ set the tone for a lengthy set of rolling bluesy chords that has the sweat-drenched crowd bobbing their heads in appreciation – although the crippling heat keep even the most excitable reactions restrained. Dulli stays ice cool in the blistering heat, simply sipping on his drink, dragging on his cigarette and driving into the next song.
The moody piano-led ‘There’s Been An Accident’ sees the front man indulging in one of his strongest vocals of the night and ‘Bonnie Brae’ shows that the there is still fire burning in his (considerably fully rounded) belly.
There are even nods to The Beatles and a modified intro to incorporate the opening lines of ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ in memory of the recent passing of Pink Floyd pioneer Syd Barrett.
By the end of the set, you would expect to see people running for the doors in the sauna-like environment though the crowd waits, begging for an encore which they are duly rewarded with and leave in little doubt they have witnessed a superb live show.
The Twilight Singers are a band flirting with the sounds of the past but producing a sound that is very much now – and not to be missed as a result.