Live Review: Tigertown Black Bear Lodge

4 July 2012 | 7:27 am | Sam Hobson

The band begins in a heavenly harmony of its female singers’ voices, each woman the image of winteriness and zen.

More Tigertown More Tigertown

Outside it's bitterly cold. Inside – and wonderfully at first – it's muggy; it's warm. People are quickly amassing and, with them, vanishes a place to sit. The floor smacks underfoot, so we're left standing, swaying and swigging chilly drinks and waiting.

Cold & Need are the first to soothe our shuffling. A fuzz of hair sparks an ambient fade-in and, though there's a full band on stage, the recording over the system inches out the tinny sounds of an electronic drumkit. Just as this oddness begins to sink-in, the small sound is suddenly dwarfed by the band's boisterous lunge into being. Suddenly, walls of thundering warehouse indie-rock storm around the crawl-space of a room, the hot, sticky energy of the blast filling every crevice from floor to ceiling. Hilly instrumentals, assured and ecstatic, shrill out at extended lengths at each songs' beginning; howling and sky-bound.

Archdukes, next, string up a banner across the top of the stage. They look like Tibetan peace-flags, but on closer inspection appear to be painted book-pages. Across the banner reads 'Age Of Winter,' inscrutably. Archdukes' sound is marked by rocketing post-rock trills in between verses, and the band walk a masterful balance between tidy and unleashed. There's an almost undetectable pop-punk influence to their sound, too, which adds to their riffs an extra punch and urgency. Little Lady is an early highlight, feeling like a soak of sorely-missed summer, a golden glut; all sticky, and shimmering. Their forthcoming single Kaleidoscope follows that, which sounds in a great way like an Antlers b-side with its denseness and party-hidden delights.

Tigertown bring everyone from the side-seats right to the front. The bar is empty, the back is empty and we're all pushed some 30-across and five back, seething to the front of the stage, sweating and wide-eyed. That our eagerness is met with such a cool, swooning melancholy doesn't really disappoint, but it nonetheless blooms an experience different from the one we'd expected. The band begins in a heavenly harmony of its female singers' voices, each woman the image of winteriness and zen. The cadence in which they croon has a wonderful lilt to it. It's not sad, but journeying: like a happy, lost thing. From a soulful western-setting they shift like clouds into a new song inspired by Where The Wild Things Are, which is all longing and sweet, curled vocals. Their sound feels very craft-made, a thing of wood-dust and bare feet and chinese lanterns. Their songs – which, as their set closes takes us through their new EP – are like beautifully reconstructed instagram memories: all artifice and genuine effect in one complex, delightful, nostalgic, hipstery snapshot.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter