The Northern Irish indie-rock band is riding a wave of success, but it hasn’t always been that way. Originally called Life Without Rory, the trio entered a local band battle and came in last.
They changed their name to Two Door Cinema Club and recorded Tourist History, the acclaimed debut album that scored lead singer Alex Trimble a solo at the London Olympics’ opening ceremony.
With their third album, Gameshow, about to be released, bassist Kevin Baird reveals his five most important songs.
The Specials: “A Message To You Rudy“
“I remember this song from being a kid in the back seat of my dad’s car. He literally owned only three or four cassettes: October by U2, a Van Morrison album and the Specials’ debut. I remember going, ‘Please, Dad, play the Specials!’ I just loved the way the guys sang and their accents; it just felt so cool and different. Also, I started playing the trombone because of the trombone solo in this song.”
At The Drive-In: “Rolodex Propaganda“
“This was the soundtrack of my teenage years. Me and my bandmates grew up in a small town in Ireland that wasn’t a general stop on bands’ touring schedules, so instead we watched videos of rock bands like At the Drive-In. We would base our band’s live performances on how they played. This song in particular, I just love the energy and the craziness of it. It taught me a lot about writing songs.”
Tom Petty: “I Won’t Back Down“
“He’s one of the best songwriters of all time. Take this song - it’s so uplifting and inspiring, it feels very suitable for the times we live in. There are many musicians who take all the glory for their past work, but Petty has been a great storyteller, varying themes and not rehashing himself throughout his career. He strikes me as someone who still absolutely loves it. In that sense, he’s also a big inspiration.”
Todd Terje: “Ragysh“
“A few years ago we were playing a festival in the U.S. and James Murphy [LCD Soundsystem] was DJing after us. This track from his set blew my mind and started my passion for Scandinavian space-disco artist Todd Terje. This nine-minute tune is dance music at its best. On the surface not many changes are happening, but if you hear it in a club, these subtle movements turn into peaks that make you go nuts.”
ANOHNI: “4 Degrees“
“I find myself grinding through so much new music that I’ll never come back to, but this song stood out immediately. I love the electronic textures, the way that ANOHNI approaches global warming without being preachy. It’s the most refreshing protest song I’ve heard in a long time. It’s similar to the lyrical approach on our new album, voicing opinions instead of singing about breakups and having a great time.”