The Twang

The Twang Biography

Blending the big guitars and emotional swagger of Brit-pop with a subtle but clearly felt dance-friendly pulse,
the Twang have quickly risen to fame in the U.K. after making a splash on the club scene and earning the respect of the music press. The Twang were formed in 2004 in Birmingham by singer Phil Etheridge and bassist Jon Watkin under the name Neon Twang. Inspired by guitar bands such as Oasis and the Streets as well as "Madchester" acts like Happy Mondays, Neon Twang were created as a reaction to the dance music that was sweeping the U.K. at the time, and the band developed a reputation for melodic but straightforward guitar-based rock and an unpretentious approach. (As Etheridge told a reporter, "I ain't going to sing about rivers, man. I don't live by a river. I live by a canal and there's bikes in it.") Neon Twang also became known as a band not afraid to get rowdy, and as violence among fans became increasingly common at gigs, the band shortened its name to the Twang to help shake off the negative side of its reputation. Adding a second vocalist, Martin Saunders, as well as Stu Hartland on guitar and Matty Clinton on drums, the Twang became a potent live act, and in the fall of 2006 the band came to the attention of the U.K. music press in a big way when James Jam, a writer for New Musical Express, and Edith Bowman, a DJ at Radio One, caught a Twang show in Birmingham. Both left mightily impressed, and Jam gave the band a major write-up while Bowman began playing the group's demos on the air. By the end of 2006, a bidding war had broken out over the Twang, with B-Unique Recordings (home of the Kaiser Chiefs and Primal Scream) signing the band to a deal. The Twang's first single, Wide Awake, was released in mid-March 2007, with a second single, Either Way, following a few weeks later. Both records reached the British Top 20, and the group's first album, Love It When I Feel Like This, arrived in early June. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide

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