The Twoks

The Twoks sounds like a kids cartoon you’d find on Nickelodeon Jr. Thankfully their music turns out to be far more credible than their name. The moment this two-piece strike up a song, you just know that the kids would hate them. That’s because they play proper grown-ups’ music, using proper instruments. The manner in which the awesomely-named Xani Colac wields her instrument however is wholly improper. Playing a violin through delay pedals and loop effects? It’s highly irregular. It’s also highly effective. The concept of using effects to make a band sound greater than the sum of its parts is nothing new, with Dub FX and Beardyman being just some of the artists to utilise such technology. Colac’s violin doesn’t just whine; it sings, thumps and growls. With each song, the opening bars are looped before another violin track is added on top and then another. While some purists could dismiss this as cheating, it should be noted that only a violin virtuoso could master such a technique; strike a single wrong note and it’s instantly echoed 100 times over.While the greying audience sit steadfast in their seats, a solitary man at the bar dances like it was his last night on earth. That he is obliged to dance alone, without a partner to line up against, must be a bitter pill to swallow. In spite of the solitude, he appears to be in ecstasy as he shimmies to The Twoks’ pure, uncut sounds.The band - completed by drummer Mark Leahy - are reminiscent of The White Stripes, only in this instance the gender roles are reversed. And there’s no guitarist. And they don’t play the blues. And the drummer can actually drum. So on reflection, they’re nothing like The White Stripes at all really. Colac coaxes hitherto unheard sounds out of the violin as she sways and gyrates upon the stage. Somehow, she makes a garish floral bodysuit look sexy. Close your eyes and you appreciate that The Twoks’ music could also justifiably be called sexy, long before sexy became an overused adjective to describe distinctly unsexy concepts such as football and war dossiers. Not content with having complete mastery over the violin, Xani Colac is also blessed with a voice smoother than melted Galaxy chocolate.Musically it’s all very impressive, although lyrically there’s little of interest. While real folk musicians sing about love lost, regained and then lost again, The Twoks have songs about the perils of using a faulty voltage adapter in a foreign country. Regardless, the band finish to rapturous applause from the ageing audience, while at the back, the move-busting body-popper pulls the sort of shapes last seen in the heydays of the Hacienda. Blame it on the sexy sounds of The Twoks.

The Blurb

Best Music Award winners (Adelaide Fringe), The Twoks take Edinburgh by storm. With Xani Kolac (electric violin/vocals) and Mark Leahy (drums). Violin and synths collide as Mozart meets Massive Attack. ‘A live show like no other’ (FasterLouder.com.au).