Live Review: Tigercub at Gullivers in Manchester 11/11/15

Tigercub live at Gullivers in Manchester

There’s nothing quite like getting to a gig drenched in sweat.

This past Wednesday night, I was chuffed to bits when I found out Tigercub weren’t expected to be taking to the stage at Gullivers until 10pm, given that I was on the other side of town. Having cycled at breakneck speed to get to the venue, I managed to arrive mere minutes into Youth Man’s set. Lead singer Kaila made a comment about how she was sweating due to how hot it was on stage, something she always forgets about till the last minute. It was at this point that I prayed she wouldn’t spy me in the crowd, dripping like a hog on a spit…

I’ve only seen Youth Man once before; a few years back in their hometown of Birmingham, supporting &U&I and Shapes. It was the latter’s final show, but Youth Man had only just burst onto the scene. That evening at The Flapper, the trio made their intentions clear from the off, with a pulverising wall of noise.
Since that first outing, there’s been a line-up change and a lot of miles on the clock, but the ferocity is still there. The enigmatic Kaila cuts quite the mean silhouette, delivering killer vocals and frantic riffs against the backing of bassist Miles and drummer Marcus. On stage, they look every bit an 80’s punk band as the bands from that era who have likely inspired them.
It’s quite obvious why everyone’s so hot on this trio, and it was great to see nothing but improvement from a band that were already terrific from the get go.

Birmingham trio Youth Man

Birmingham trio Youth Man

That belting late-2000s Queens of the Stone Age album ‘Era Vulgaris’ provided a bit of ‘atmos’ before the on stage arrival of Brighton trio Tigercub; a fitting album to coax them out front. Some of the newer stuff Tigercub have been working on has that desert quality that Joshua and the boys have been wading in since the late 90’s, with tracks like ‘Pictures Of You’ providing lashings of riffing heaviness interspersed with a delicate  intimacy.

Pictures Of You is taken from their upcoming EP ‘Repressed Semantics’, out at the end of the month through Venn Records. Announced on their Facebook page as “…a refuge for anyone who feels fucked over by the current state of affairs” the five-track EP is full of nothing but hits, carrying on the momentum from the juggernaut that was ‘Destroy’ released earlier this year as part of the Too Pure Singles Club.

With their first headline tour well under way, Wednesday night saw Tigercub in a really jovial mood, the two Jim’s up front providing witty quips in between songs. Bassist Jimi commented that they’re like Dire Straits in comparison to tour buddies Youth Man. Various shout outs and dedications were given throughout the evening – ‘Rich Boy’ dedicated to that pig fucking arsehole David Cameron, whilst another track was more sweetly offered up to bassist Jimi’s Aunty Sue, backed up by the other 2/3’s of the band in an on stage vote. We’re told before the intro that the track is for sale, a cheeky nod toward the merch table and its plentiful bounty.

A group of younger lads next to me were losing their shit throughout the whole set, their long locks flicking back and forth with each head bang against the low light. My day-worn quiff could hardly compete…
Destroy’ put an end to the evening; drummer James taking to the guitar with his drumstick like a fucked up violinist once the others had left.

The head banging throughout comes as no surprise really. In the reasonably short time they’ve been together, Tigercub have put together quite the oeuvre of hits. With the addition of Repressed Semantics at the end of the month, it’s looking highly likely that they’re going to be having quite the busy 2016.

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