Twelve by Two Silhouettes – Review

Album Review
Title: Twelve
Artist: Two Silhouettes.

Twelve cover art

Dark…    … that’d be the one word review.

But that wouldn’t do justice to the twisted genius on offer here.

This album opens with the atmospheric ‘June’, there’s a lot going on here with many different sonic textures but it’s never overpowering, always teetering on the edge of the precipice without ever going over…

This feel continues with the following tracks ‘Nadir’, ‘Greyfield’ and ‘Cassandra’ all of which have that same dark psychedelic twist on the ragged edge of the experimental.

Then the album takes a completely different tack and swerves back around to catch you unawares with the haunting pop of ‘The Black Moods That Attack You’ With lovely vocals from Francesca Allen coupled with Sam Holloway’s schizophrenic pop creativity.

This pop feel remains for ‘Invisible’, which has some great melodic instrumentation. In fact as the album progresses it really opens out musically. With Flute, Cello, Piano and Organ to name a few additional instruments.

The beautifully melancholic ‘Coy’ seems to be branching out into a dark/folk territory and would fit in with some of the darker folk around today.

Dark Arms’ takes things down to a more stripped back sound with Sam taking the lead vocal very effectively.

And we’re off again with the delicious ‘Barn Owls’ opening with eerie Cello, before blossoming into a dark guitar driven paranoiac soundscape that would give Robert Smith nightmares.

You’re An Instrument I Don’t Know How To Play’ again opens with the Cello followed by a Rhythmic/Melodic darkness which is all pulled together nicely by some clever bass playing from Kev Cousins. All of which makes a nice platform for the Dark Poetic Lyrics… Fantastic title for a great song!

Bedrooms’ follows neatly on, continuing in the vein setup by the previous song. Here there is a great vocal interplay (aptly fitting for this duet). And what sounds like some live harp on the ending.

‘Wounded Eyes’ brings the album to a close “I wanna disappear, go out like a light”… sings Sam on the closing track… which ironically leaves this listener wanting them to stay and entertain me more.

If I was to criticise anything it would be the running order… As much as I like the first four instrumental pieces, I feel that they would be better suited to being closing tracks. Because I think tracks 5 through 12 are far stronger and have a more cohesive feel!

This is a great album, I urge you to have a listen.


Download it for free here

The Stranglers – Feel It Live – Croydon 31313

The Final Chapter…
And so it came to pass that the three did go their separate ways and there remained just the one named EiTC to participate in the finale of this saga…
Which was to take place in the dark netherworld known as Croydon…
After rising from deep slumber, bought about by weariness from the previous sojourn, a great temporal anomaly was encountered. At first it was 9 and then in the same instant it was 10 and although this meant an extra hour had been spent in slumber, it did not further assist the process of recovery on this palindromic day.
So the chariot was boarded and headed in the direction of South and much sooner did he arrive in Croydon than he had before….
Although he now stood alone it was not for much longer as he was to be shown much warmth and good cheer from the clan of the familyinblack.
And soon he was inside the heart of the citadel known as Fairfield Halls.
And this strange, spacious cavern did have seats directly in the place where the celebrations were due to be held, although this did not deter the faithful from their revelry.
The Godfathers did once more make good cheer with their hearty ditties.
Then, it was time for the final flourish of the Meninblack for this, their current campaign…
And they proceeded with much vigour as if they were just starting out… The faithful were rewarded.
The ceremony was very similar to that witnessed in Newcastle with no deviation from the program and the founding father in residence.
And while some of the crowd did dance and enjoy the ceremony with abandon at the feet of the saviours, others did participate from their seated position.
Once more the masses filed out into the cold night with much happiness – although this was fused with a heart heavy in the knowledge that this was to be the last time…
… Until the next time!
Great gig, nice to meet lots of lovely fansinblack…
Uncle Sam you’re in for a treat! This band is firing on all cylinders

The Stranglers – Feel it Live – Newcastle 29/03/13

So, newly refreshed the three journeyed to the east…
Across the snowy landscape, at times crossing the border into lands unknown…
Eventually they made way to the fair city of Newcastle.
Again sanctuary was sought within the enclave known as Premier Inn. Where one of the number succumbed to the fever known as the dreaded lurgy!
Then they were two…
And the two did venture deep into the heart of the city.
Whereupon they did encounter once more a ceremonial gathering, where the natives did speak with a strange tongue. And they did party most hardily, welcoming travellers from far and near into the fold.
The ones known as the godfathers did once more prepare well the throng for the arrival of the Meninblack…
Two drum kits did indicate the presence of the founding father. While mystical runes did indicate that today was the anniversary of the arrival on this plane of existence of the grand wizard known as Dave… Happy Birthday sire!
A fine evening of sonic delight was provided for and lapped up by one and all. The master of the low frequency range called by the name of JJ did receive a native garment known as a bra which he did adorn his crown with much to the merriment of the masses. The one named Baz did put in a fine performance and was seen to enjoy the occasion very well.
The great opus known as Genetix did bring much joy to EiTC, who was heard to utter the following words… Top night, great sound, great crowd, f*cking awesome!

The Stranglers – Feel It Live – Carlisle Sands Centre 28/03/13

DISCLAIMER: the following was written by a distant traveller in a road-weary trance….

At 5am the two travellers began to face the day ahead.
A little later after much toil and hardship (and a lie in for one of them),
They left Southampton and headed north…

Arriving in London much later they sought out the one known as Elvis in The Clouds, adding him to their number.
Then they were three!
This unlikely trio set sail on the old black river again heading north, always to the north.
Crossing the calmness of the m40 they headed fearlessly on to the m6,
Despite all the portents of doom and gloom!
It was a fierce battle but eventually they made good progress (just past Preston actually)!

Then as the evening sun began to set, they feasted their eyes on the beauteous joy afforded them by the surrounding landscape
(This almost made up for spending most of the day sitting on the m6!).

Finally they came upon the enchanted village of Carlisle…
Where (after visiting the sanctuary known as premier inn) they ventured into the heart of the local festivities. Arriving at the juncture of the midway point in the set of those brave warriors the godfathers… Whose sound the three approved of.
Then in the pause of the festivities the one known as EiTC sought an audience with the great sage Toiler on The Sea ( nice to meteor).

Before long it was time… A strange sound heralded the arrival of the saviours…
The Meninblack were here and the people were joyous and most grateful for the aural delights.
The warrior Jet Black was not in attendance but this did not dampen the celebrations too much in spite of him being sorely missed. In his absence the masses were treated to Down in The Sewer and the band did sound very good and the crowd were very happy and it’s been a flipping long day and the narrator is off to bed g’night!

The Stranglers ‘Feel It Live’ Guildford 12th March 2013

It was great to see The Stranglers in Guildford last night. However I can’t help feeling the whole show had an element of the surreal to it. Almost like an out of body experience….

Starting at the beginning:

The venue itself with its angled staircase down to the bar from street level made me feel rather tipsy and I hadn’t dropped a touch! Also, I noticed that the super clean toilets didn’t seem to have any urinals. Then when I pointed an inquisitive punter in the direction of the Gents he went off in that direction and retorted in a rather disgruntled manner ‘That’s the Ladies!’ Oops!

Moving swiftly on, the sound was great in there last night! Support act The Godfathers made a good impression and really made an effort to get the crowd going. To paraphrase singer Peter Coyne “I hope you’re getting warmer, we’re the warm up act for The Stranglers and if you lot don’t warm up they’re going to duff us up!” And a valiant attempt was made by them to avoid a beating with their hard edged R&B.

On to the MIB, nice to see two drum kits, Jet Black in the house! The light show rolled fast-forward through the years indicating the 39 year lifespan of the band, to the delightful weirdness that is ‘Waltzinblack’. The band walked on and JJ fired up the intro of ‘Toiler on The Sea’. Sounding great so far! Next up the classic ‘Goodbye Toulouse’ followed swiftly by ‘Grip’. All seeming fine… But wait!

Whilst the sound was fantastic the band seemed a little unsettled. The crowd was friendly but it must be said it was one of the tamest crowds I’ve ever witnessed for the MiB! May be due to the fact that there were a lot of families right down at the front with a mixture of the really young and the really rather senior. It seemed like the band may have misread this gentle audience as being unenthusiastic. After ‘Golden Brown’ Baz directly asked the crowd “Are you enjoying yourselves? Thank god for that!?” Clearly Baz and JJ were really putting a great effort into stimulating a response. This kind of cross purposes seemed to carry on for the whole gig with the two frontmen putting everything into it, seemingly to little avail. Unawares that the crowd were lapping it up!

To add to the surreal mix JJ was looking a little tired (to the point of seeming a little spaced out!) But he really held it together with faultless playing (bass solo to ‘Genetix’ outstanding, pure genius!). And it didn’t deter him from being very frothy and playful in his taunting of the crowd. At the end of the show he went over to Baz and rested his head on his shoulder, as if they were consoling one another.

Back to the show: The set was really great, dropping some of the staples that fans expect to hear like ‘Hanging around’ for example and adding in some vintage classics such as ‘Bring on The Nubiles’, which for me was the highlight of the evening with its swift tight execution.

The newer songs were well received with ‘Mercury Rising’ receiving a healthy cheer as it was announced. ‘Freedom is Insane’ sounded rather psychedelic in there last night, brilliant! And Baz sung his heart out on ‘Norfolk Coast’ really doing the song justice. Relentless held its own as a classic of the modern era.

We were treated to ‘Midnight Summer Dream/European Female’ both sounding really great. ‘Lost Control’ was notable by its absence.

The light show was really good, although apparently it’s been toned down a little. Jim did a grand job on the drums considering the boots he has to fill. The crowd really didn’t seem to get it when Jet Black came on. Although I’d put that down to the mix of people in there. The master seemed as great as ever and was absorbed with the job at hand. His drumming for ‘Who Wants The World’ was full steam ahead! At the end of the show he peered over the top of his toms and gave us a grin and a wave, cool!

The ever grinning Dave was well on form, his keys sounded great and he was in fine voice for ‘Genetix’.

All in all a great night, lovely to meet lots of fellow fans in black and witness this most unique and brilliant band put in a great performance.
As for the surreal, maybe it’s something they put in the water in Guildford!

Here is Genetix…

While here is Golden Brown complete with Baz’s comments