Review by Chloe Gynne with photography by Noradila Nordin.

We’ve all heard of The Lemon Twigs by now, right? They’ve been the band on everyone’s lips since last summer, and the hype only got louder upon the release of debut LP ‘Do Hollywood’ last October. At tonight’s sold out show, KOKO buzzes with anticipation; pre-show conversations largely consists of brags about seeing them before they got so big, or musing over the young band’s anachronistic influences, a blend of Big Star’s jangly pop and David Bowie’s glam.

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First up come support Lo Moon.

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Unfortunately a large portion of the crowd refuse to pause their discussion long enough to watch Shock Machine, who deliver a confident performance worthy of higher praise than they’re given. Klaxons’ own James Righton reinvents himself as their pastel-blue-suited frontman, singing into the crowd and swaying his hips like a 50s crooner. Metronomy’s Anna Prior, who is on drum duty, makes their psych-infused pop sound danceable but despite their enjoyable tunes, the crowd refuses to budge.

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Perhaps they were saving their energy for The Lemon Twigs: as soon as the lights dim, there are Beatlemania-esque screams from the front row. They belt along to ‘I Wanna Prove To You’ in unison with frontman Brian D’addario, swooning at the older brother’s booming vocals- a reminder of his Broadway past.

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The band is, as such, theatrical in presence, turning a sparse stage Technicolor. Michael, the younger brother, is animalistic on drums during ‘Haroomata’, adding a touch of chaos to his brother’s signature structured-pop sound. Brian, except for the occasional hop and skip across stage, is more contained, allowing his impeccable voice and lyrical imagery take centre stage.

There is a significant shift in pace as the brothers swap places, though: what had been a night of slower ballads and nostalgic pop becomes a more glam, high-intensity spectacle. Michael fronts the stage with ease, power kicking his way through ‘Baby Baby’, rolling through slightly-less composed riffs and, by the end of the set, jumping into the crowd.

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The brothers’ charm is in their unashamed dorkiness and naivety. Young in age, and filled with musical ability and passion, they are able to turn their nostalgic influences into something that is curiously relevant. They dance goofily- one in a tight leopard print one-piece, the other in an oversized dusty pink and blue suit-, they cover their father Ronnie’s song, ‘Love Stepped Out’, and they play music pulled from an era most of this crowd can’t remember. And it works, because their harmonies are undeniable and their joy is contagious.

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Most of all, it works because they are an unbreakable team; their brotherly bond and long-term experience working together delivers in buckets tonight, as they share the limelight equally, one emboldening the other when it’s their time to shine. Together they create organised chaos, and the crowd laps it up; while the younger, wilder brother encourages waving arms and moving bodies, the older brother produces euphoric, grab-your-partner-and-tell-them-you-love-them moments, and the audience leaves with smiles plastered on their faces.

More photos from tonight’s gig visit our Flickr page.

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