Live Review: Twenty Twenty – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, 10th September 2009

Twenty TwentyTwenty Twenty are in the middle of their first ever headline tour; fresh from a support slot with synth-rockers Saving Aimee which gained them a monumental fanbase, they find their tour near-sold out, and there’s some pretty big weight on their shoulders. Tonight in Newcastle, it’s time to find out if it’s just hype, or if the three lads are the real deal.

Due to local outfit It’s Our Time Now pulling out just this morning, and ultimately disbanding, it’s up to The Broadcast to start off the night’s proceedings; they do so extremely well, sending the room, wall to wall, into a dance. They write catchy, light-hearted pop-punk tunes accompanied by some light synth, and they play them well. There’s no real nonsense, they just play great music; they have a frontman who’s vocals are in great shape and really light the band’s music up. The band almost initiate a wall of death between the two sides of the room tonight, but it goes no further than a shouting contest; the mostly female crowd tonight lapping it right up, however. The Broadcast have probably had the easiest crowd of their lives to warm up, and they’ve done it in great style.

Scottish quintet The Gap Year Riot take to the stage next, and unleash their harmless brand of synth-tainted rock upon the ever-active crowd, who coincidentally, stay ever-active; mosh turns into dance, and arms flail, clap and swing in unison. Sounding very similar to teenie titans Go:Audio, they too find themselves faced with an easy crowd to please, and their tracks have their target audience in the palm of their hands. They end their set on a high note, a cover of Welsh rock giants Lostprophets’ Last Summer puts some smiles to faces, and The Gap Year Riot have most definitely proven themselves worthy tonight.

Twenty Twenty have expectations to live up to; the sheer adoration of their ever-expanding fanbase, those simply curious through major hype and word of mouth, even promoters who are snapping the band up for tours, such as the Go:Audio tour they embark on next month. They, in the eyes of their fanbase at least, most definitely live up to said expectations, however, they seem to suffer a classic case of brokeNCYDE syndrome; the cliché, “I’m not a fan, but the kids like it” certainly can be said here.

It’s not that Twenty Twenty really do anything wrong, they sound just as good as they do on record; it’s the fact that on record, they sound bland, dull, and not unlike any other pop-rock band with trendy haircuts doing the rounds currently, therefore to anyone else but the hardcore elite, they sound shockingly average. Songs like Forever do stand out, however, it’s catchy chorus ignites the room with all-out girl-pits and unison clapping. While the band only have a handful of songs to their name, their set really is over in a flash, even with the constant “How’re you doing’s” and encouraging the crowd to repeat cheers; a few more songs would of solidified their set that extra bit more, but the audience really can’t complain, they hang on every word, lyric and riff, and are absolutely ecstatic to see the young trio take to the stage for an encore; even if it is just two more songs.

Twenty Twenty are certainly not doing bad for a band that’s really only just got on the radar, but they really need to stretch out and reach beyond the fickle inner-fanbase, if they’re to prove that they’re worth more than just the hype.

George Cannings.


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