This four piece are the remnants of former Dundee bands: The Trend, The Naturals and Second Go Lucky.  Well, it seems they now are as with improving song writing skills and performances, the band gig across East Scotland with a growing fan base and upcoming shows out of town, to London and beyond.  The group consist of the long-limbed, big-mouthed Ryan Souter with impressively strong vocals (not every man can deliver a spine-chilling rendition of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ on the streets of Dundee), perennial songwriter Billy Mitchell, Animal-stylee drummer, Kris Boyle, and bassist Steven Cox.

Tonight is their last show at The Doghouse (the legendary home of independent live music in Dundee).  The venue is to be closed 9th August  (despite successful and rigorous fundraising) due to greedy indebt brewing companies who secretly sold the old schoolhouse to the next door casino as a potential car park.  Nonetheless, the music goes on and tonight the place is mobbed with 14+ to 60 year olds. The atmosphere is upbeat and friendly, regardless of the drizzle and imminent closure. 

The set opens with ‘Where have you been?’ which has an infectious bassline. The full crowd rapidly becomes a crammed mass. Souter’s searing vocals soar over the tune, looping around the bassline along with some interesting bridges which seem to be a motif of this band.  Next comes the irresistible beat of ‘Deceived’  - a song which caused much controversy when first played as a response to Peg and the Bouffant’s ‘Deceiter’.  It has a staccato-led rhythm which pounds out a stonk as Souter does his wild theatrics.  This is the song which gets the whole floor up and down, hammering the boards.  The tempo is raised further by a cover of the Beatles’ ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ which has the crowd going crazy.  I suddenly recognise tones of ‘Twist and Shout’ in this so this proves even the legendary Beatles used repetitive formulas sometimes…  The Twist have obviously cut their teeth on covers, learning the techniques of the masters and ready to begin real original song writing in earnest now.

‘The One I Need’ is a sweet song sung by guitarist Billy Mitchell while Souter apparently does sign language interpretations.  Billy’s voice is softer and the tone shifts but the audience are just as appreciative: folk on shoulders swaying. ‘Soft Lad’ again marks a return to the more fast and furious pace which is followed by the raw scream of ‘Sex Appeal’  - probably the song which first banged them slap on the map with the younger Dundee audience several  months ago.  This is a steamroller, charged – like its content – with electricity and surprising mini bridges: steam off bodies, steam off song.  A veritable spaceship of a tune, crazy bridges and high voltage rolling drums at the end, screams and whistles and loud banter regarding whether they should/shouldn’t do a View cover.
Billy:  ‘Fuck it!  Let’s do it!’
This brings on the memorable opening chords of ‘Realisation’. The Twist love playing this song and the audience always love them for playing it. They enjoy paying homage to their predecessors as much as living in the actuality of the words onstage. They undoubtedly have the skills and the heart but do they have the confidence and persistence to continue developing their own material?  From the stage invasions and raging gig schedule, the answer would appear to be that they intend to fulfil all expectations.

As they themselves sing in ‘Sex Appeal’:  ‘It’s not about the looks, it’s about how you feel.  Personality has far more sex appeal.’  A final salute to the faithful hosts-
Souter:  ‘Thank you very much to Jonny, Sarah and everyone who’s helped us and the fans. This is it!’

As to what the ‘it’ is, remains to be seen but there is definitely a Twist at the end of this story.


2010 Postcript: The band now includes Ronnie Falconer on guitar.