Manchester, Music, Review

Review and gallery: The Lemon Twigs @ O2 Ritz Manchester

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By Freddie Bruhin-Price
Photography: Charlotte Rudd

The Lemon Twigs played at the O2 Ritz on Thursday to a crowd which could have easily fit into a smaller venue. It was a shame the venue wasn’t more full, as the night was slightly lacking in atmosphere.

The band, continuing a tour promoting their debut album proper “Do Hollywood,” played most of the songs
from the album, as well as a few from their latest EP Brothers of Destruction, which was released in

The band got off to a pretty strong start, opening with the bubblegum-sweet “I Wanna Prove To You”, Brian D’Addario taking centre stage as lead guitarist and frontman. Brian is the eldest member at 20, and is the more poetic, introspective songwriter of the two.

His brother Michael D’Addario, aged 18, was at the drum stool, giving an assured and professional performance. At times he walked to the front of the stage and egged the crowd on.

The D’Addario brothers have clearly graduated from the school of classic rock, their moves are studied replicas of those made famous by the Rolling Stones, The Faces and the bands who they influenced.

An early highlight was the six-minute epic ‘Frank’, one of Do Hollywood’s finer tracks. Brian delivered the line: “If I were a tyrant or destroyer of love/I would not destroy you my darling” as the band played the song’s many progressions, and built to a crescendo.

The band have been given the label “baroque pop” by other music journalists, and this description fits their live show perfectly, even though a well-intentioned cover of Jonathan Richman’s ‘You Can’t Talk to the Dude’, fell slightly flat.

‘These Words’, which has a Jacobean-themed video to accompany its single release, was next. In its recorded state the song has many layers which it would be impossible for the band’s four-piece lineup to replicate, however, the  performance was not lacking in any way. It was vibrant and powerful. This music suited the Ritz’s spacious ballroom.

Halfway through the performance, Michael seemed a little unsteady on his feet, as he swaggered down from his drum stool to sing harmonies on a striped down version of “How Lucky Am I?” dressed in a tight sequin top, baker boy hat and oversized aviator sunglasses. Though he sang well, as he strapped on a sunburst Fender Telecaster guitar and addressed the crowd, he seemed more than a little dazed.

In keeping with the rock and roll spirit of the band, Michael’s half of the set was loose, but managed to stay on the right side of shambolic. However, his appearance was slightly worrying. In fact it was surprising seeing him play so well considering the babbling nature of his between-song banter.

The crowd cheered as Michael took guitar solos.There was certainly a sense of theatre, but it was a little grotesque to see someone so young so wrecked.

A version of the brilliant single “As Long As We’re Together” drew an expected rapture from the audience.

An encore of “Queen of My School” was also well received. The overall impression from some fans after the gig, however, was that the band had a better night last time they were in Manchester.

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