It’s an awfully long time since I got my first taste of Two Gallants, when ‘Las Cruses Jail’ appeared on a Best New Bands Showcase 2006 CD that came free with my precious copy of NME. It’s taken me seven years to get round to seeing them and they sound just as exciting and fresh as they did in my mid-teens.
The support from local favourites ToLiesel and Belgian visitors Mozes and the Firstborn actually make a perfect pairing for a Two Gallants warm up. ToLiesel’s sweet, folky British indie rock is sentimental and lovely with ‘Lighthouse’ being a highlight (I’ll even let them off for “less photographs”). Mozes... were intermittently reminiscent of MC Rut, Nirvana and even Oasis, playing grungy garage rock with a very overexcited bassist.Enter the main event, fitting somewhere between the previous two, albeit with a little more polish, a big slice of blues and sounding like they’ve smoked a few more cigarettes. A brilliantly balanced set has the pair moving from steady lullaby to bluesy, anthemic rock fan-favourites, all swathed in atmospheric dry ice and Adam Stephens’s rasping drawl vocals. Pure teenage nostalgia yet remaining completely relevant, this must be a great combination when you’re compelled to turn to your friend simply to say "this is f**king lovely". After some incredible transitions from soulful folk into moshing rock-out, the perfect moment arises for Stephens and Tyson Vogel (great name) to whip out the harmonies and harmonica for the arm round your neighbour ballad (no really, we weren’t the only ones).
They are sweeter, louder and freer than on record, and as restrained as they are impulsive. ‘Las Cruses Jail’ (that one from the compilation) is just completely awesome, and before long we’re dividing up the band boys like we’re 16 (I won’t tell you my pick). All the crowd favourites are there, including ‘Despite What You’ve Been Told’ and ‘Steady Rollin’, as well tracks from their most recent album The Bloom and the Blight, ‘Halcyon Days’ being a particular high point of the newer material. The final encore of ‘Nothing To You’ is simply sublime with its slow, teasing, seductive intro before everyone goes wild.I’m basically a fangirl reborn. Check them out, buy the album, and hope they come back again.