Three Trapped Tigers & Tall Ships - Cargo, London
Tonight sees a celebration of the release of rising London-act Three Trapped Tigers' debut album Route One Or Die, having slogged away on the live circuit and let loose three EPs that have wet appetites to such a degree that this evenings show is absolutely packed. Opening up the bill is fellow London producer Seams, whose 2010 EP Tourist has gained him some well deserved attention. Crafting woozy electronica akin to Gold Panda and Dam Mantle, but with a slightly more dance-oriented direction, the digital melodies mixed with powerful drones and thumping percussion do a brilliant job of waking up the crowd.
Label-mates Tall Ships have accompanied TTT on the entire Pink Mist tour, and they’re another band that appears to be accruing some notable interest. Their looped and sampled math-rock is at times an intricate, cacophonous roar that sees them swapping instruments and weaving synths, guitars and their more poppy vocals around each other. However there are times where the loops seem to be slightly out of sync, turning what was once well constructed into a bit of a mess. The band pull it back together though for closing track and new single ‘Hit The Floor’, a blur of angular riffing and sharp melodies.
In what is obviously quite fitting for the launch of their new album, Three Trapped Tigers open tonight’s set with the first four songs from said record. The excellent ‘Cramm’ kicks things off with its off-kilter drumming courtesy of Adam Betts alongside duelling guitars and synths. ‘Noise Trade’ follows swiftly after, filling the room with glacial ambience before descending into chaos, while album highlight ‘Creepies’ succeeds in producing the ominous and evil tones its name suggests. Betts’ combination of his small but formidable drum-kit with the electronic samples proves to be an impressive formula on ‘Ulnastrictor’, his arms a flurry of activity as he keeps the rhythmic backbone of the band intact.
While the Route One Or Die is the main reason we are here, the older tracks in the band's arsenal provoke much appreciation from the packed and sweaty crowd. ‘11’ in particular causes the audience to attempt to head-bang to its crazy time signatures and serene melody, and the closing triumphant mixture of joyful keyboards and vocal harmonies puts a smile on everybody’s faces. Returning to the new album for the epic ‘Reset’ followed by an encore of ‘6’, a track which everybody gathered is quite vocal in wanting to hear, the band finish this evening's show safe in the knowledge that they are doing something that is truly exciting. Live is where Three Trapped Tigers have always made the most sense, and tonight proved that nothing has changed there.