On a cosmic scale, 2016’s mantra has screamed of political catastrophes and iconic deaths. Yet for some fortuitous individuals, the year has delivered a haven for flourishing success – and TIGERCUB are one such example.
With their debut album Abstract Figures in the Dark taking centre stage within my mind-set, the group are my personal salvation to the distasteful year. So naturally, when the band announced a gig a mere ten minutes away from my house, there was no doubt in my mind over whether I was going to be attending.
Opening the event were Moenna, a four-piece with an aim to create harmonising and ambient indie sounds. I saw a blooming potential in the intensity that they attempted to create, but their vocalisations were out-of-sync sound-wise, and it was a factor that didn’t mesh well with the following two faultlessly rehearsed bands. It wasn’t the end of the world though, and despite their pending attainments, the group still possess a glimmer of hope for the future.
Next up: a sweltering bout of blues from Cornish duo Heavy Souls. These lads are the go-to band if you’re craving a derailed medley of blues/garage-rock, with a sprinkling of jazz for good measure. They were simple yet captivating, spontaneous and the twosome knew just how to inject a dose of enthusiasm into the lethargic venue. Musically, they were likewise skilled, and vocally, I was impressed as always – despite the fact that I never really know where to look when Guy Harandon sings the words “squeeze my lemons”. What a brilliantly diverse way to pave the way for a grunge band!
After such eclectic support groups I was ready for the filthy-riffed, fiery offerings that TIGERCUB would undoubtedly dispel. With such impossibly sky-high anticipations however, a law of averages would predict that I was bound to be somewhat disenchanted, right? Well, surprisingly that wasn’t to be the case.
With the floorboards bouncing from ecstatic, enthusiastic audience members, the three-piece led a tirade of grunge bliss that was addictively moreish, with James Wheelwright’s bass displaying itself as a force to be reckoned with. There were no boxes left unticked in regards to what I’d expect from the perfect gig experience, and in the antiquated bookshop venue it was a truly distinctive evening indeed.
Similarly, the set-list was perfectly created for the ultimate combination of longstanding relics and newer songs alike. Highlights included intense deliveries of both Burning Effigies and Omen from their debut album, as well as older offerings Centrefold and Destroy. My personal highlight however, was the scream-drenched finale of intrepid track Migraine, which was commanding in its delivery and left the room quivering from intensity. The band gave their all with this performance, and it was the most dynamically satisfying set that I’ve ever seen them perform.
The group are an authority to fear and revere. TIGERCUB for world leadership? I think so.
Words by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad