Allo Darlin’ are starting to make waves in the small pond that is the UK twee indie revival. This was the London date and final night of a two week autumn tour that had seen them play bigger venues than before as a headline act. I’d only caught them as a support band before, but, they had made an impact. Their first eponymous album was a delight; warm melodic beautiful songs played with verve, and in Elizabeth Morris they have an engaging and talented singer. With some anticipation I wondered how they would rise to the challenge of headlining.
But first the support bands; and first up Martha. Exhilarating stuff, p’raps a bit more muscular than one might expect in company with Allo Darlin but tuneful too – good songs attacked with gusto. Martha are well worth keeping an eye on. If your curious there are 5 tracks on Bandcamp and they are well worth a listen. Not sure when they will be playing in London again, but certainly a band to note.
And so to Tigercats. Tigercats are mind blowingly stupendously awesomely good. An indie band with a creative range which would suggest a rack of albums and singles behind them, but in fact there is just one; Isle of Dogs, most of which gets an airing tonight. Comparisons are a bit misleading here – this is a band with a sound and attitude that is quite unique really – but how to describe them………… by turns they put me in mind of Tweecore royalty Los Campesinos, or Vampire Weekend’s african inflected guitars and even LCD Sound System on one of the standout tracks Limehouse Nights. Echoes of Jonathan Richman, or the melodies of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin but lyrically reference heavy in a way that clearly locates them in 2012, East London. Singer Duncan has a thousand yard stare; somewhere above the audiences head he gazes – enigmatic and watchable, his brother Giles on bass is a more affable presence chatting between songs. The rest of the band are crouched over their instruments like their lives depend on it. Duncan’s sometimes spoken sometimes barked delivery is augmented by sugar sweet female harmonies at times. The guitarist looks like he could be the next Governor of the Bank of England, but a more inventive catchy set of guitar driven pop I can scarcely recall.
Next gig is on 27/11/12 at the Lexington in Kings Cross. Its my mums seventieth birthday. But I cant miss it. I’m gonna taker her…..
So good were Tigercats, they almost spoilt Allo Darlin’ for me, I was done, spent! But we had come to see Allo Darlin’. To see them headline in a proper venue, with proper sound and lousy beer. They did not disappoint
Their Lineage is clear, a debt is owed to the Sarah records stable, but they are no mere revivalists. Two albums in they have a raft of warm intelligent pop songs and a singer of true talent and no little charm. Material from first album Allo Darlin’ and this years Europe was warmly received by a rapt audience familiar with the material. A new single from the album, Northern Lights is out next month, its a delightful jangle – a stand out in a set of gems. So did they rise to headlining? well yes and no. for me the ideal way to see this band would be lying on the grass at a summer festival half cut. There is something life affirming and heart warming about that voice, backed by a band who know every nuance of each song and play with care and precision. But the abiding memory of a great gig with three really good bands is Tigercats – the album is on as I write! Hope mum likes ’em…..