Harmless fun. That’s the best way to describe the Saturday’s performance at Brighton Centre. No-one here is trying to claim that what these five girls is fine art or that these songs will echo down the ages, least of all the prepubescent girls who make up the most significant minority of the night’s audience – I saw more than one playing games, texting, or otherwise ignoring the extravagant song-and-dance being put on fifty feet away.
It was much the same for the older women; one gets the sense that they would behave the same if a Saturdays song was being blasted through a tinny club sound system as they would if it was being performed live right in front of them.
Live, of course, being used in the loosest possible sense; the actual musicians (a drummer, bassist and guitarist who are magically able to create the sound of string quartets and horn sections) are dressed all in black and are literally standing under the stage. This is a performance for people who fans of music, rather than music fans; everyone seemed to be having a great time, even if it was a little alien to the ears of a jaded and cynical rock critic.
Twenty Twenty, the supporting act of the night, are a trio of Bieber-haired youngsters – Sam and Jack Halliday on guitar and bass and Sonny Watson-Lang on drums – hailing from the wilds of Essex who perform catchy, hook-laden pop. They’ve built up a substantial online following across Facebook, MySpace and YouTube despite having only released one EP, Worlds Apart.
Although they can’t confirm as to when it will come out, they are planning to release an album in the near future and assure their fans that their ‘newer music is definitely a similar style…but it’s the next step for us’ – certainly an exciting proposition. Considering that their online presence, and the unique relationship they’ve built up with their fans, is such a fundamental part of the way in which they operate it is a relief to hear that they are dedicated to maintaining this high level of contact and that they ‘want to take [the fans] on this journey’ with them. The greatest worry for any band with brothers in it is, of course, the dreaded ‘Oasis factor’.
Luckily that doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Hallidays; they all claim to get along very well, and their extensive touring has taught them how to respect each other’s privacy.