Review: Two Door Cinema Club Beacon tour at the O2 Apollo Manchester

You might not have heard their name. But one thing’s for certain. If you watch sport or adverts on TV, you’ll have heard their music.Two Door Cinema Club’s first album Tourist History is a TV soundtrack favourite. It supplies the theme to a whole raft of football matches, Olympic highlights and mobile phone advertising from the last 18 months..And if you were one of the millions who tuned into London 2012’s opening ceremony you may also have noticed their flame-haired frontman Alex Trimble performing a track by Underworld, as the torch was carried around the Olympic stadium. So could the Northern Irish three piece deliver some more equally infectious noises and memorable moments on their second album and tour of the same name Beacon?

With their music still ringing in my ears, I skidded along the the icy pavements of Manchester to the 02 Apollo to hear them live. The Beacon UK tour stopped off at former cinema the Apollo for two nights on a snow battered January weekend. I was armed with limited knowledge of the second album’s contents, a love of the dance remixes of the main tracks from Tourist History, and an open mind.

Two Door Cinema Club are one of a newish breed of bands who mix guitar with electronic and try to bridge the difficult dance-indie divide. Smart move then by their support act Bastille, in closing their otherwise less than memorable set with covers of 90s dance anthems Snap’s Rhythm is a dancer and Corona’s Rhythm of the night.

After that unexpected but very welcome flash of nostalgia, Two Doors’ less familiar opening track Sleep Alone was likeable but just didn’t get under the skin. Thankfully it wasn’t long until the upbeat tones of Undercover Martyn charged up the atmosphere and got the crowd dancing in the stalls once again. And so it continued, the upbeat, irresistibly danceable tracks from Tourist History standing out amongst the very listenable but more infinitely more forgettable contents of Beacon.

The instantly recognisable Something good can work appeared well into the setlist.  But it had no worries about any contenders for its most catchy crown until the outstanding What you know encore, again taken from Tourist HistoryBeacon for me was far from a beacon and more of a blur of nice but samey tracks.

Two Door’s lead singer Alex Trimble would do well to take a leaf out of the charisma book from Friendly Fires’ frontman Ed MacFarlane – his insane dance moves could distract from the dullest of songs.   

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