Pull Tiger Tail
Profile: Pull Tiger Tail
Words: Dave Beveridge
A mirror-kisser stumbles out of the packed crowd, her clumsy navigation augmented by the under-sized card animal mask skew-whiffed to her face, like some acolyte to a Coke-fuelled Urban Wicker Man. Through the distant miasmic haze a trio of angel-winged silhouettes cast down heavenly thunder-pop in a whirligig of instrument swapping. This is no po-faced pomp-extravagance. This is unabashed fun. And The Fly has a hunch that, behind her newest mask, Scene Girl is probably outright grinning for the first time in a very long time.
“There are so many bands where you think, ‘Oh man, if you didn’t take yourself so seriously you’d be so much better.” Pull Tiger Tail are not one of those bands, with influences ranging from Dizzee Rascal to Dizzy the ZX Spectrum computer game egg, and, amongst other things, a tendency to express themselves either in binary or bilingually, to the extent that their much-lauded Young and Lost debut – the Haribo-addictive Animator – featured a badly translated French version tagged to its B-side (a newer, accurate version is in the pipeline).
To the more stone-hearted, this might all sound a bit gimmicky, but like forebears of the sonic vanguard such as The Flaming Lips and the Beta Band in reality it’s a natural extension of the (very serious) exploratory approach of a band constantly stirring their sound, like a post-modern soup of influence and innovation prone to morphing into near-unrecognisable behemoths of raw chaos live – a permanent ‘work in progress’.
“I’m glad it appears like that!” laughs Chief Tiger-mouthpiece Jack Hansom, taking a break to talk to us from the studio, where the band is recording their debut album. “Usually one of us will bring in a song and the rest of us will kick the crap out of it…I think it mainly comes down to our attention spans being very low and us getting bored of playing guitars, drums, or whatever, and wanting to play something we completely don’t know how to play, and just trying to fit it in somehow. And luckily for us it sometimes works.”
One such instance is on the upcoming single, ‘Let’s Lightning’, the massive sound of a tiger-romp with the euphoric pop muse hinted at in their recent Mika remix (they do a mean mash-up sideline as Tiger Trail). It screams ‘hit’ and sounds effortless, something that Jack puts down to the organic approach they’ve taken with recording this time round, eschewing the tokenistically ‘cool’ sounds of celebrity producers: “It’s very much true to how we are – out quick, just us in this room in Lincolnshire. If a certain bit wasn’t working we’d ask why. It had to come from the arrangement and the way we play it. It got bigger from us, not from just another loud guitar added to the mix.”
It’s this determination to bend music their way, to abandon the stigma of their New Cross roots in favour of potentially unmodish soundscapes (“Early 90s music is a big influence on us but then, so is Daft Punk,” states Jack), yet actively embrace a willing fan base (they will soon embark on a slate of 14+ headline tours) that makes Pull Tiger Tail so special.
“I hope people find us a guilty pleasure in a way,” Jack summarises. “There are a lot of bands in my music collection that I love but have never told anyone! Actually – scratch that! Take that back!”
‘Let’s Lightning’ is released on B-Unique on March 26th.