The Twang are set to play Newcastle’s O2 Academy this month so Kyrie Dawson caught up with frontman Phil Etheridge to chat about their upcoming tour and past experiences in the North East.
Ten years have passed the world by since the release of your iconic debut album, ‘Love it When I Feel Like This’. You must be excited to get back on the road and celebrate such an achievement?
Yeah, we’re all super excited. We owe a lot to our mate Ian Richards from the O2 Academy venues as he’s always believed in us as a band and he was instrumental in getting this tour together.
As a band, you have the unique ability to infuse honest, gritty lyrics with an air of poetic sensitivity – it’s somewhat of a beautiful contradiction. Can you tell us a little bit about where you find your inspiration to produce such classic tracks?
That’s very kind of you, though I’m sure many would beg to differ! I guess most of the early songs were written about my mates and nights out in Brum. I hung about with some gloriously funny characters back in the day and they were a permanent source of inspiration. I guess the fact that both me and Jon were bringing songs to the table meant I was always trying to write a better song than him. He’d write an ‘Ice Cream Sundae’, ‘Push the Ghosts’ or whatever and I’d think f**k, I’d better up my game.
As part of your ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’ anniversary tour, you’re set to take to the stage of Newcastle’s O2 Academy. What are your past experiences of playing to North East crowds?
I remember a few years before we were signed, and I’ve no idea why, but we came and played this little festival on the river under this archway and this lad in a band called the Metro Sect came up to us after the show saying he digged what we were doing. He then invited us back up to play his club night at the Red Rooms, which we ended up playing a couple of times. One of the nights it was us and the Rev on the bill, and it definitely felt like the start of something.
The Twang have been compared to the likes of The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays throughout the years. Are there any particular musical influences that you feel helped you achieve your sound? If so, who?
When growing up, I was pretty obsessed with listening to bands like Neds, Carter, Mondays etc. with my brother or some Jungle or house tapes with my mates. If it gave me goose-bumps and spoke about my life, then I was having it and absorbing as much as I could.
When performing live, you seem to have a knack for infecting the whole crowd with your undeniable energy. Of all your material, ‘Cloudy Room’, is one of the most renowned crowd pleasers, but is there any particular song you enjoy playing the most?
‘Cloudy Room’ is kind of our ode to a club in Brum that we used to go to back in the day called the Steering Wheel. Some of the best nights of my life were spent in there, so it’s great that that track now soundtracks other people’s nights out. I guess ‘Either Way’ is the track that changed our lives and you can kind of see what it means to people when we play it, which is always pretty special.
The Twang play Newcastle’s 02 Academy on Friday 15th December. Tickets, priced at £24.95, are available from seetickets.com.