New York Rockers The Lemon Twigs Take Birmingham

The Lemon Twigs by Henry Calvert (Axekrill Photo)

The Lemon Twigs, they may sound like something you drink to clear your nasal cavities but you better clear your ears instead as they’re ready to blow your mind. The group consists of New York based brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario. “You know it’s going to be a true performance considering Michael’s fame as a child actor” exclaims one eager punter in the queue outside. The two have been performing their whole lives and have been playing in bands together since the age of six but have only shot to fame in the last year as The Lemon Twigs since the release of their critically acclaimed album entitled Do Hollywood.

It’s a tense atmosphere in the dingy basement of the O2 Institute in Digbeth as London based quartet Flyte warm up the mixed crowd of mullets and flared trousers with a dream pop infused set, the highlight being a cover of Archie by Alvvays that’s sure to send shivers down your spine. “Birmingham is always the best” they say before taking a gracious bow departing the stage as people rush to the bar in quick anticipation of The Lemon Twigs.

A deep fog of smoke encompasses the stage as the interlude music begins to fade and the brothers roll onto the stage followed by a piercing stage light that follows. They’re joined by long time school friends Megan Zeankowski on bass and Danny Ayala on the keyboard who help them to perform the songs live. Their set begins with some of their subtler songs such as Why Didn’t You Say That? from the band’s latest offering Brothers of Destruction. For the first half of their set Brian takes the lead whilst Michael sits back on the drums slinging the sticks around his arms with the most outlandish flare. Brian’s smooth tones blast through the amp as he saunters around the stage with an innocuous charm.
A handful of songs in the two brothers switch, Michael taking to lead guitar and vocals as Brian sits back on the drums, really showing off their multi-instrumentalist talent.
Michael’s presence is far more boisterous and his lyrics are laden with black humour that sure rubs off onto the crowd. His theatrical background is truly shining through as the harsh light glistens of his sequin clad leotard and he bounces around the stage, often diving into the splits and driving his pelvis into the hard floor.

Typically their tunes sound like a drive of the lo-fi rock of The Beatles and the 70’s beats of 10cc that’s fronted by their bolstering and powerful Broadway style vocals, however, my favourite track of the set has to be one of the final. Night Song has their same tingling charm but with an added psych funk that will send your hips gyrating uncontrollably as you seek comfort within the amalgamation of twisted limbs the dancefloor has become.

All in all, The Lemon Twigs are an undoubtable talent whose presence fill a void that we didn’t even know was empty within the music community. Their unique blend of genres and genuine showmanship will leave their sound bouncing around the walls of your skull for weeks to come. If you didn’t get a ticket for this tour we’re sorry to say this was probably your only chance to see their yank charm in an intimate setting as they’re sure bound for greater stages.


Henry Calvert

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