|Labels||B-Unique Records (UK), Jump The Cut Records, Arena Rock Recording Co. (US)|
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.
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.
Lead singer Etheridge is an Aston Villa supporter, Saunders is a Birmingham City supporter whilst the rest are West Bromwich Albion supporters as stated in a Live Lounge session on BBC Radio 1 presented by Jo Whiley.
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.
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.
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.
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 been sacked following the alleged theft of £10,000 worth of studio equipment, and was being replaced by Ash Sheehan.
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.
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 are currently working on their fifth studio album, however a completion and release date has yet to be announced.