The mighty Quins

There’s nothing more off-putting than hearing a band for the first time only to discover they’ve already amassed a large back catalogue and fanbase. It’s like turning up late for an orgy and finding that only the stragglers are left (something our favourite Scottish actor James McAvoy empathised with here).

So it’s understandable that when faced with the question of where to start in such a musical conundrum, the answer for many people is often not to bother at all. What you secretly want is for someone you trust to sift through album after album, separate the pop from the pap and give you a bite-sized chunk of the highlights. Which reminds us of our favourite Alan Partridge scene…

Ben: I love the Beatles.
Alan: Yeah, so do I.
Ben: What’s your favourite Beatles album, then?
Alan: Tough one. I think I’d have to say… ‘The Best of the Beatles’.

And so to TEGAN AND SARA, the guitar-wielding identical twins from Canada who have five full-length studio albums to their name – a daunting figure if this is the first time you’ve been introduced to them.

In fact, there is a strange parallel with The National, another group with twins. Before they made their career-defining records Alligator and Boxer, they used to be – and it pains us to write this – not that great, and were responsible for two patchy albums that rarely get a mention these days.

Similarly, Tegan and Sara Quin have taken time to hone their craft into the super-slick pop-rock outfit they are today. Their 1999 debut album Under Feet Like Ours had one good song (Clever Meals), its follow-up This Business Of Art contained two (My Number and Not With You), as did the next effort If It Was You (Monday Monday Monday and Living Room).

However, everything changed with 2004 record So Jealous, which saw the sisters at last deliver a full banquet of hook-laden tunes, while last year’s The Con was almost as ear-pleasing and just as worthy of a place in your record collection. In conclusion: Start at the end and work your way back.

4 Tegan And Sara – Not With You
4 The National – Around The Bend (new song, live in Brooklyn)

b February 29, QMU, Glasgow (sold out)

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