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Twin Forks - Night & Day Cafe, Manchester UK, 02/07/2013

By Reg

Twin Forks is the latest in the folk revolution to come to the UK shores. After hearing their E.P numerous times prior to the gig it was safe to say expectations were high. Did they deliver? This has to be the easiest question I’ve ever had to answer.

In order to set the scene, the members of Twin Forks consist of Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, The Narrative’s Suzie Zeldin (Vocals & Mandolin), Bad Books’ Jonathan Clark (Bass & Vocals) & Ben Homola (Drums). So needless to say the line up for this band is a very promising prospect. Not only do they meet the high expectations but they manage to smash the bar that was set for the evening’s performance.

The band came onto the Night & Day Cafe stage full of energy, with Chris’s stage presence as enigmatic as always. After the first song he laughingly told the crowd to lose their nerves, relax and enjoy the show. What followed was the crowd losing the traditional English stiffness and fully embracing the lovingly crafted music that was being played. 

The chemistry between Chris and Suzie was the most natural bond I’ve witnessed in quite some time, with the pair glancing at one another, their eyes meeting, telling the untold stories of the songs being sung and their smiles beaming so wide. You can tell they thoroughly enjoy being on the stage. The harmonies were wonderful to listen to and worked so well, the crowd couldn’t help but completely buy into not only the music but the band’s joy at performing. 

The energy coming from the group was phenomenal. Both Chris and Suzie were utilising the entire stage, whether it be running to the back to play to Ben on drums or just dancing around whilst they played. This encouraged the crowd to join in the fun they were having, with Jonathan leading us into hand clap sessions to crowd improvised hoe downs which were a wonder to watch.

The acoustics of the venue complemented the band’s sound perfectly and lifted the happy go lucky folk sound into something louder. Whether it was one of their original tracks or one of the location inspired covers they played (i.e. Oasis’ ‘She’s Electric’), each strum of the guitars and beat of the drum ricocheted off the walls and straight into the buzzing crowd.

We interviewed the band the previous day and they informed us they were wanting to start from scratch, not use their names to play the bigger venues from the get go. After the performance on Tuesday it was easy to understand why. The gig felt intimate, with Chris’ trademark note holding still making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. His influence on the band is an obvious given, but this is not Dashboard 2.0. This is Twin Forks. A completely new sound with a happy Chris and a band so full of ideas, you can’t help but marvel at their creation.

Manning the merchandise stand at the end night, Suzie, Chris and Jon made sure each fan who came to see them had their chance to hold conversations, take photos and have their merch signed. It was the little things like this which stood out for me, knowing their backgrounds and having waited outside prior gigs from their other bands waiting to meet them and failing to do so, it was such a refreshing change for them to sit down and not rush anyone who wanted to spend time with each member of the band.

Coming back to the UK later on this year to promote their upcoming album, I cannot recommend enough that you take the evening off to see them yourself and embrace the folk music Twin Folks are so happy to deliver.

As a taster for their upcoming album, you can download a free E.P. consisting of 4 tracks. All you have to do is send an email to twinforksmusic@gmail.com and you will instantly receive a link to download the E.P.

Set-list for the evening (including links to live performances):

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