Two Door Cinema Club, Kowalski
Ah, another day, another hotly tipped act of our own rams a venue to launch a new release. It's almost getting boring now, seeing a band spread its wings and launching itself out into the wider world. This time, and fittingly on this Oscar weekend, it's the turn of Franco-Bangorians Two Door Cinema Club to stroll down the red carpet.
No need for any introductions to our opening act, Kowalski, veterans locally, and a band who've been threatening to break through for a while now, building a support but without actually getting there. It's a shame, but it becomes apparent why they're not at that next level because their gentle, undulating, summery indie-pop is pleasant but forgettable - not quite catchy enough to lodge in your brain, nor pop enough to be classed as disposable. It's all lovely sunshine music like MGMT or The Thrills, essentially festival music, invoking summer days, outdoor drinking and sunstroke (or in this country, rain, hangovers, and trench foot), a band that you would enjoy for half an hour in context but without enough spark to inspire the devotion necessary to follow them in the dark nights of winter.
In contrast to the support, our headliners Two Door Cinema Club need have no fear of the winter. True, they do similarly shiny summery indie pop, but with greater energy and polish, a result of the money, time and confidence that a label (particularly an established and credible label like Kitsune showing that its not just local support for these guys) and a touring schedule can bring. What got them there though was a knack for song-writing and for finding that often elusive magic that turns a song from good into crowd-pleaser. They're only just releasing the album yet there's a couple of sing-alongs in there, and not just from a few devotees, but from the majority of the crowd (proving Bangor must have been pretty empty tonight). And it's easy to see why, with their cool but funky danceable yet also intelligent indie in the mould of Franz Ferdinand and Foals showing why they spent the last months of 2009 and early weeks of 2010 popping up on music industry tip-lists - for all our devotion to local favourites like ASIWYFA, General Fiasco, and Fighting With Wire (to name three) 2DCC are the most likely to make it with their combination of catchy tunes, indie credibility and charm.
They're tighter and more practiced and professional than their Belsonic slot last year, but thankfully their exposure to the bright lights (and hard work) of the music world hasn't altered them though as they invite us all to join them for a bit of a party afterwards. Could someone pass the popcorn?