When there's a tangible, all encompassing flood of emotion felt in a gig setting, there's an eminent and true degree of success that has been achieved by that gig. This is the syllogism that defines what it is to perform. It's this phenomenon that makes live music special; it's what a large part of their design is made to do.
Tonight, with Two Another, it was exaltation. A torrential cascade - only stopping for very brief moments - of pure elation. Spread broad across all of the gig's essential building blocks, this was the product of their music on the night.
Immediately, before the show even began to kick off, there was a distinct sense of that community feel you sometimes get at gigs, informed by the fact that a select number of people are coalescing around music that is shared in love. This carried right through the gig and was perfectly exemplified by a special point at which Eliot's grandmother was introduced to the crowd. Not what you’d expect in the first place, but what followed was the immediate, impulsive roar of applause from the audience; completely unexpected, entirely wholesome & utterly amazing. The essence of what made that kind of moment special carried on throughout the show, representative of exactly what we mean.
The night started with Havelock, Two Another’s support, treating us to a thought out, adventurous and energetic warm up - trying his first solo set in front of an audience. Armed with only his guitar and a laptop (borrowed, too), he opened the night with a groove and energy channelled into distinguished vocals and characterful raps that perfectly ignited the crowd, later bursting into flames during the main event.
Majoris Music spoke to Havelock after a self-dubbed “sexy… self-sufficient” and very successful support. He shared insights on the meaning behind his favourite songs like Sativa and why he chose a new solo setup. We can't wait to bring you a fuller piece on your newest favourite indie cheeky-chappy - eyes peeled for that one!
The flux, marking the start of Two Another’s set however, began with Enter My Life. And boy did they enter ours.
Fans of Two Another will be familiar with the musical experience of the 1m 39s song on their 2018 Another Tape record ending agonisingly quickly - every time. “A lot of people tell us that”, the band told us after the show. During the set, however, the audience were treated to a song that evolved into a faster paced and driven, but ultimately extended version of what was known and loved before the release of Back To Us, the band’s debut album. A new take on its predecessor was subsequently released as track 6 on the debut record.
And from song one, the best way to describe the progression of the setlist was flow. In the literal sense, the back end of songs would often blend into the start of another, and this created a really immersive auditory environment inside the room, making it feel more like a journey through music than a gig on a Wednesday night. But flow also in the sense that the sounds were constantly fluid between the electronic and the band-driven; between the highs and the lows of Elliot’s vocal idiosyncrasies and energy; between the heavy and soft.
Immersed in this environment with the melded together songs and dynamically capturing sounds the music live felt placed exactly right. It added an extra layer to the experience of songs that sound, through your headphones, already instinctually different in some sort of fundamental way.
And it seems none of what the show was, indeed none of what Two Another is, would be possible without the dynamic between Eliot and Angus. On stage, when Eliot is commanding the mic and Angus bopping on the deck of all kinds of electronic musical magic, it isn’t a symmetry that presents itself between them but a mutual balancing of an odd shape that makes the music special. “They’re always going to be a partnership”, recounted a family member of the band after the show. The sounds of Two Another, and the presence of Two Another on stage, wouldn’t be as enchanting as it was if it were bound to a sense of symmetry or confined to the borders of conventional shape.
This is the trademark of Two Another, with the band telling us that in continuation of this “the last time we rehearsed [before the show], we ended up in Sweden, in saunas, and we didn't have the right cables'. The concept of an unrehearsed band presents one of the very few contradictions in the live music of Two Another, because for all intents and purposes it was a very polished and sleek demonstration of live music capability. This is celebrated and propped up in a human way too, with Elliot telling us that he was “very nervous before the show” to the extent that in preparation he “watched YouTube videos of performances” by inspirations like Harry Styles. Put this with Angus’s instinctive first post-show reaction - “Eliot killed it' - even after it being 4 years since he would’ve last felt that after show buzz himself, and you get this unique and special dynamic that makes these two, well, Two Another.
On highlights, it’s very rare that four or five consecutive sources mention the same singular high point completely independent of one another when prompted for their standout moment. It’s the subjectivity of music and diversity of opinion that makes it worth being a fan in all musical situations - but not tonight. Almost everyone that spent time talking to us - spanning from members of the audience, members close to the band and the band themselves - singled out Coming Alive as their pick of the bunch.
This being the song of setlist prominence makes sense from every angle, and it has been through multiple positions on the setlist live. “We usually start with it”, the band told us, but putting it in the middle they thought “might re-engage people'' - said afterward as almost a question, the song having been pretty much impossible to follow live because of its quality. With talk about it becoming a show closer, the power of the song live is ubiquitous and formidable, and there’s good reason for it.
Live shows are often a collection of moments rather than of individual songs, but the beauty of this particular song was that it was both of these at the same time. At exactly the right points in the song a blue hue was cast upon the entirety of the room and it became impossible for spirits not to be lifted higher than the Earthly bounds of physicality in that moment. “The pinnacle”, as a super fan met after the show appropriately described it.
With the song already being a hit in the Two Another discography, it was only fitting that it was also one of the points that made the gig comprehensively special, and a moment nothing short of seminal too. It may just be the case that the indescribable musical place of serenity their sounds take you to is a sauna in northern Europe - with or without the right cables.
Catching up with the two that make Two Another after the show felt just as welcoming as the music did during. The evolutions of Enter My Life, the song’s relationship to Frank Ocean and where it is headed in the future was just one part of a wider conversation, and on the latter Majoris Music can exclusively reveal that “there is a third, and we might make it a thing on every album”. That wider conversation was rife with ‘the funny story about that' and its derivative story openers touching on the music and everything that went into it, and suddenly the reason why there was such a strong cohesiveness between all of the people there - whatever side of the stage - became clear.
When you watch Two Another live, you are watching two especially talented musicians on their journey to define what their place is in music. And in doing that, you are watching Two Another progressively peel back the layers to get to that place. This is apparent in the writing of their latest record, apparent in their live delivery of it too, and apparent in the conversations you have surrounding the relationship with their music.
Authenticity was the golden thread of Two Another’s live show, so it doesn't take a music critic to understand why what you feel at a Two Another gig is visceral and totally representative of one of music's most special qualities: being able to catalyse raw and unfiltered emotion far from below the surface of our humanity. And then you come alive.