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The Twang are an English indie rock band, formed in 2004 in Birmingham. The band have released five studio albums - Love It When I Feel Like This (2007), Jewellery Quarter (2009), 10:20 (2012) NEONTWANG (2014) and Subscription (2017) Comprising vocalist and guitarist Phil Etheridge, bassist Jon Watkin, vocalist Martin Saunders, guitarist Stu Hartland and drummer Ash Sheehan, the band garnered national acclaim when the influential NME magazine produced an article on music acts in the West Midlands. Former touring-member Barry Fratelli is also a member of the Scottish band The Fratellis.
|Labels||B-Unique Records (UK), Jump The Cut Records, Arena Rock Recording Co. (US)|
|Past members||Martin Saunders|
The Twang's second album, Jewellery Quarter, was released 3 August 2009 and reached #20 on the UK album chart. The album was produced by Neil Claxton of Mint Royale at Blueprint Studios in Salford. Third album 10:20 was released on 29 October 2012, reaching a chart placing of #52.
Formation and NEONTWANG years (2004–2007)Edit
The band was formed in Quinton, Birmingham by singer (and then guitarist) Phil Etheridge and bassist Jon Watkin after the pair studied music technology together at Kidderminster College. They originally performed in and around Birmingham under the name "Neon Twang". During this period, Etheridge and Watkin often swapped instruments The addition of guitarist Stu Hartland in late 2005 enabled Watkin to take over bass duties permanently and allowed Etheridge to perform live without playing guitar. The name Neon Twang was eventually dropped by the managers of the band, as the name had become notorious for fights at gigs, and a new name was needed to change the image of the band, so they became just 'The Twang'.
Love It When I Feel Like This (2007–2008)Edit
In April 2007 the band received their first NME cover and two months later were the subject of a BBC Radio 1 documentary. The band were hailed by the NME as "Britain's Best New Band" and won the Phillip Hall Radar Award at the 2007 NME Awards.
Their debut single release, "Wide Awake" was released on 19 March 2007. The single reached number 15 in the UK singles charts and was followed up by a second single "Either Way" on 28 May 2007 - which reached number 8 in the UK singles charts. The single received heavy radio play and was championed by BBC Radio 1 DJs such as Edith Bowman, Jo Whiley and Chris Moyles.
Their debut album Love It When I Feel Like This was released on 4 June 2007. The record landed in the UK album charts at number 3. Through 2007 - 2008 the band toured extensively and performed sold out shows most notably to a capacity show at London's Brixton Academy and a headline slot on the John Peel stage at Glastonbury.
Towards the end of 2007, the band released a new single "Two Lovers". The music video for which featured the band alongside actor Danny Dyer and actress Jaime Winstone as a pair of dysfunctional sweethearts.
Jewellery Quarter (2009–2010)Edit
In January 2008, the Twang decamped to the isle of Anglesey, where they hired a cottage and began writing for their second studio album Jewellery Quarter. The band have described this period as a magical time in their career. In March 2008, the band began recording the album in Granada, Spain with Killing Joke bassist and music producer, Youth. They completed the album the following month at ‘Blueprint Studio’s in Salford, with Mint Royale's Neil Claxton. The album was named after the area in Birmingham in which the band were now resident. The artwork was the idea of critically acclaimed Wolverhampton artist Temper who, unknown to the band was also resident in the Jewellery Quarter.
The first single proper to be lifted from the album was "Barney Rubble" and featured a sample from classic 1990s dance track "Give It Up" by The Goodmen.
Several of the band's songs were used on various TV programmes. "Twit Twoo" was used on Match of the Day. "Barney Rubble" was used on ITV when they showed the group standings and results after, before or at half-time in their football matches. "Back Where We Started" was used on ITV as part of their football shows/matches. "Reap What You Sow" and "Ice Cream Sundae" have also been used at various times on the BBC.
Guapa EP and 10:20 (2011–2013)Edit
In January 2010, band announced the departure of guitarist Stu Hartland. They enlisted new guitarist Jimmy Jazz (before Hartland rejoined the band in 2012).
In Summer 2010, The Twang began writing and recording new material with guitarist and producer Jon ‘Simmo’ Simcox. The band announced on 1 February 2011 via Facebook that they would be releasing a new EP titled Guapa on 14 February 2011. The physical release was limited to 1,000 copies. On 21 August 2012, the band announced that they would release their third album, entitled 10:20, on 29 October 2012. The title came from a note that an irate studio neighbour had left sellotaped to their studio door. The band also announced that original drummer Matty Clinton had left the band, and had been replaced by Ash Sheehan.
N E O N T W A N G (2014–2016)Edit
On 14 January 2014, the band announced a new album, N E O N T W A N G, to be released on 10 March 2014, again via Jump The Cut Records. The title refers to the band's previous name when starting out. On the same day they revealed a new video for single 'Larry Lizard' to support the LP. The band also started working with fellow Birmingham based, Wide Eyed guitarist Tommy Greaves who was to accompany them on their February 2014 Tour.
Love It When I Feel Like This 10th Anniversary Tour (2017–2018)Edit
On 2 May 2017, the band announced a new tour to mark the 10 year anniversary of their seminal debut album 'Love It When I Feel Like This'. The tour consisted of 11 dates across the UK in November/December 2017 and saw the band perform the album in its entirety for the first time ever. However in September 2018, The Twang announced via social media that co-singer Martin Saunders was to leave the band, which meant Phil Etheridge had to take up a full-time solo singing role. The Twang played 5 dates in December 2018 in Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, London and Glasgow, as part of their usual annual Christmas shows. The band hinted after these dates that new material was imminent.
If Confronted Just Go Mad (2019-present)Edit
On May 13th, the band announced on social media that they were releasing their first record in 5 years called 'If Confronted Just Go Mad' in November 2019. They also announced that a new single called 'Everytime' was to be released on Friday 17th May. This single showed a slight change in style for the band, as it was more pop-orientated, and utilised their 2 new female backing singers, as the verses are split between a female voice and Etheridge on lead vocals. The single however received positive reviews.
- Love It When I Feel Like This (4 June 2007) #3 (UK)
- Jewellery Quarter (3 August 2009) #20 (UK)
- 10:20 (29 October 2012) #52 (UK)
- NEONTWANG (10 March 2014) #57 (UK)
- Either Way, It's The Best Of The Twang (3 November 2017)
- Subscription (17 November 2017)
- If Confronted Just Go Mad (November 2019)
- Guapa EP (14 February 2011)
- "Wide Awake" (19 March 2007) UK #15
- "Either Way" (28 May 2007) UK #8
- "Two Lovers" (27 August 2007) UK #34
- "Push The Ghosts" / "Drinking In L.A" (26 November 2007) UK #63
- "Another Bus" (Free download)
- "Barney Rubble" (27 July 2009) UK #59
- "Encouraging Sign" (18 October 2009)
- "Paradise" (Free download)
- "We're A Crowd" (13 February 2012)
- "The Wobble"
- "New Love"
- "Everytime" (17 May 2019)