The Musician venue is renowned in the Midlands for having played host to a vast array of artists, and on 27 February it staged a night of unashamed twee-pop. Tigercats brought their distinctive brand of cheerful and simplistic indie along as their tour with Allo Darlin’ reached Leicester.
Sporting oversized specs, rolled-up jeans and shirts buttoned to the collar, they could have leapt straight from the sketch book of a cartoonist with a penchant for drawing nerds. Their music sits comfortably alongside this image, with the guitar chiming out jingles like a passing ice cream van and lead singer Duncan Barrett frequently singing about vegetarianism.
Lyrically, there is no poetry or use of arty metaphors, just to-the-point statements about vegans who wear fur and bars in Dalston being full of idiots with ridiculous haircuts. The whimsical irony of their lyrics is a nod to their self-confessed post-punk influence, with a pinch of accessible and light-hearted pop. The one thing their songs never lack is a sense of tongue-in-cheek fun. They seem to have no qualms conforming to the stereotype, as Barrett jigs about stiffly and synth player Laura Kovic spends most of the set bashing out fuzzy melodies with one finger.
There are no flourishes to suggest that they are anything other than a straight-up, indie-pop outfit and they certainly display all the required elements of the genre. Kovic occasionally adds soft, pleasant harmonies under Barrett’s stylised shouting and their overall sound is an uncomplicated and summery jangle. The guitar often surprises with a rawness that almost brings them into garage band territory.
Their album Isle of Dogs is released on April 9, and they showcased the single Full Moon Reggae Party during their set. It has a bouncy opening riff that admittedly is more calypso than reggae but memorable nonetheless. It’s easy to hum along to after a couple of verses and impossible not to tap a foot to the galloping, insistent drum beat. Fans of Black Lips and Twerps will enjoy the purposefully unpolished sound of Tigercats. As far as indie-pop outfits go, they do exactly what it says on the tin.
Thea de Gallier