The lights are dimmed to a neon-blue. The crowd fall silent, awaiting the entrance of New York’s 70s-inspired band, The Lemon Twigs. Having appeared on The Late Show, The Tonight Show and Conan in the star spangled states, on Friday 24th of March, they made their biggest appearance to date, performing in Nottingham at the Bodega, playing songs from their debut album Do Hollywood.
Fronted by the D’Addario brothers, they form a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde partnership. Brian, the eldest, is cool and reserved, with Michael bringing the energy, dressed in a leopard spotted jumpsuit, built for acrobatic glam-rock high kicks and jumping splits adding oomph to emphatic strums. Both are former child actors, and their ease on stage was apparent. Brian greeted the audience, “it’s great to be here in Notting-ham!” poking fun at his own accent, whilst adjusting his mic.
“Brian sings with precision and hits every note during his controlled performance”
The show was opened with the beautifully written ‘I Wanna Prove To You’, a delightful mix of soft, baroque-esque rock, and piano-laden Elton John. Brian sings with precision and hit every note during his controlled performance. Adding to the theatrical display, Michael is seen twirling his drumsticks like a baton as the band performs ‘Haroomata’. The song echoes an early Syd Barret’s Pink Floyd, without being pastiche or dowdy.
Halfway through, the gig was interrupted by a game of musical chairs, when the two decided to swap roles. Brian swaps the mic and electric guitar for drum sticks with Michael, nonchalantly showcasing their pedigree. Michael accompanied the changeover with a fine speech, comparing it to Batman’s heroic leap of faith in the pit in The Dark Knight Rises.
He then pounces on stage, and unleashes a flamboyant frenzy, snapping his guitar strap off in the mayhem. He clasps the guitar close to his waist as the band immerse themselves in the funky, and melodically rich, ‘These Words’. A structurally complex, yet artfully created song, ‘Baby Baby’ expresses the usual teenage confusions with intricate time signatures and sudden chord changes, reflecting the jumping moods of adolescence.
“Brian and Michael possess a level of maturity on stage, uncanny for their ages of 19, and 17 respectively”
Support act, Shock Machine, featured a lead singer adorned in an all-red retina-melting suit, a bit like Satan, but the sort of Satan you can bring round to your nanna’s for tea and biscuits. A fun band, but plagued by overly repetitive hooks in nearly every song.
The Lemon Twigs certainly did not fail to impress; both Brian and Michael possess a level of maturity on stage, uncanny for their ages of 19, and 17 respectively. Their unique voices combined, gave layered harmonies rich with gleeful soul. Simple glam-pop songs with powerful instrumentation throughout. They left to rapt applause. Prodigiously talented brothers indeed.
Matteo D’Alesio and Donya Mozaffari