Pull Tiger Tail, Club 229, London
Tuesday 08 January 2008
A new year brings a fresh tranche of hotly tipped artists, most of them having releases out no later than spring. This acclaimed trio, though, are keeping their powder dry.
Pull Tiger Tail were mentioned in dispatches this time last year and not only because they once shared a flat with the Klaxons. The band that dropped out of arty Goldsmiths College to pursue their own vision of cutting-edge pop came with their own punchy, promising early singles.
Formed in Stratford-upon-Avon, the band became fixtures on the south London scene but have spent much of the past few months working on their debut album, originally pencilled in for release last September. Tonight, they break cover in the unlikely environs of a student hall, a cafeteria with added bar. You can almost touch the ceiling even without the aid of the rostrum that passes for a stage. Two strappingly built members, the singer and guitarist Marcus Ratcliff and darkly handsome bassist Dave McKenzie-McConville, seem to find their moves a little restricted.
Their sound is immediately imposing, under-pinned by the emphatic delivery of drummer Jack Hamson. PTT's mix of synths and guitars adds a futurist sheen to their powerful tunes. McConville and Ratcliff use keyboards to create hard-hitting, danceable melodies, although they aren't afraid to rock out. The vocalist's forceful, almost soulful, manner is surprising given his foppish looks.
Rather than lay out a road map of where the band are headed this year, tonight is more of a reminder of where they've come from. Early releases "Animator" and "Mr 100 Per Cent" are in the set, the former's post-punk, neatly clipped guitar showcasing the threesome's ability to forge new shapes as it contrasts with Ratcliffe's soaring vocal. Better still is "Hurricane", the summer single that suggested PTT might yet break through to mainstream acceptance.
Less familiar material struggles to compete, especially as much of the rest of the set is at a slower tempo, apart from "Tom Waits For No Man", which, in spite of its cheesy title, is an effective slice of pop punk, with an insistent chorus set against introspective verse. The rest is intriguing, though difficult for a Friday-night party crowd to stomach. Best of the bunch is the brooding yet melodic "It's About Destruction", where Ratcliffe gets in a lather about people dying.
That comes neatly just before the giddily uplifting "Let's Lightning", where he lets out his frustration as he chides: "Aren't you sick of being automatic?" It's refreshing to hear such a dramatic change in tone from a young outfit. Success is never automatic, but you sense good times ahead.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Star Wars: New action dolls launched on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens release
Ricki And The Flash, film review: Meryl Streep's rock'n'roll creation steals the show
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up