Canadian indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara have never been short of admirers of either sex, and tonight in Birmingham this was highlighted by a high flying bra which was launched onto the stage at the identical twin sisters. With this, Sara politely requested that if there were any more undergarments to be launched at them, they were to be thrown to the side of the performers so that they did not think that it was any of the venue falling down around them. It is this slight awkwardness and good humour which adds to the charm of the girls and their live performance, as amusing chatter occurs between tracks from latest album Heartthrob and older fan favourites during their two hour set in the Institute.
As the Quin sisters open on four tracks from Heartthrob, a change of style with their new material is apparent. Drove Me Wild, I’m Not Your Hero, Goodbye Goodbye and I Couldn’t Be Your Friend are somewhat synth laden and 80s inspired, but lack none of the harmonies or depth of their older tracks. Despite the rather big leap, it has been received fantastically and even earned them a top 3 position on the US Billboard Charts. A warm reception to the new songs was also granted tonight as the audience sang along and gave equal applause to the duo for old and new songs.
As they asked the audience if it was OK to play some of their older songs, they were met by agreeable cheers before breaking into one of their most popular tracks Back In Your Head followed by equally adored The Con. This received one of the biggest rounds of applause all evening. Luckily they hadn’t peaked there though and all were treated to a truly beautiful evening as Tegan and Sara weaved their way through tracks including Shock To Your System, Hop A Plane and Alligator, and even Walking With A Ghost from their 2004 album So Jealous.
Towards the end of the evening they performed their own special version of Feel It In My Bones, which is a dance track that they collaborated on with Dutch DJ Tiësto in 2009. What followed was more random chit chat as the girls told the audience that they loved them “the same way that you would love cute animals in the zoo, like an otter…. but if there was a major disaster and we had to eat otters, we’d eat otters”.
As both Tegan and Sara returned to the stage for the encore, their close personal friend and long term band member Ted Gowans accompanied them with acoustic guitar as they performed laid back tracks Call It Off and Nineteen. This was followed by a medley of songs which the girls explained their mother had challenged them to add on every night of the tour. As the rest of their band rejoined the stage for the country inspired finale Living Room, I saw smiles around the room as everyone danced – it is apparent how much of a refreshingly positive mark Tegan and Sara’s music has made on their audience.