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.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence results live - The reunited kingdom: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Star Wars 7 leaked photo of Adam Driver changes everything
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'