INTERVIEW: Tigercats | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Introduction: Lee Hammond
Interview: Nad Khan

Indie pop connoisseurs Popklubb are bringing the London-based five-piece Tigercats, alongside a wonderful supporting cast, to the quirky setting of the Mining Institute on Thursday 9th April. Featuring members of Allo’ Darlin’ and Darren Hayman’s band, Tigercats are a band already on track to win over many, and with the release of their second LP Mysteries, seem intent on doing just that.

Their summery, hook-laden indie pop is infectious; their music demanding the attention of both your head and your feet. You can’t help but groove to their contagious tracks, with rhythms underpinned by a beautiful pop sensibility borne out of Duncan and Laura’s lyrics. Their style may be derivative of many other indie pop bands, yet there’s something that claws you in. A veritable feast of indie pop at its highest order.

Ahead of the gig, Nad Khan had a quick chat with Duncan Barratt about the new record and playing in odd locations.

It’s been three years since your debut. How does it feel to be back with the follow up?

It feels great. It’s been too long. I can’t wait to start playing shows again.

You’ve often been labelled twee by music journos, is that something that annoys you or do you think it’s a true reflection of the band’s sound?

I don’t think we’re twee, to me the word has never been anything other than an insult. I think our songs deal with complex emotions, so if a journalist calls us twee I think maybe they’re just looking at the surface, maybe they’re being too reductive. Yeah, it can be annoying.

Isle of Dogs was quite upbeat jangly Indie fare but Mysteries feels a bit more laid back. Was that a conscious shift in sound for the band?

I don’t think it’s laid back. It may be gentler in places, or more considered. But it’s not relaxed, it’s uptight. I think there was a decision that we didn’t want to make the same record again, we wanted it to sound different. I don’t think we knew exactly how we wanted it to sound until it was done.

“I think our songs deal with complex emotions, so if a journalist calls us twee I think maybe they’re just looking at the surface”

It does still have the pop and music culture references in the song titles though. How do they come about?

There’s not too many on this record. We’re phasing them out. They just come about because pop culture surrounds us totally. Everybody’s conversation is full of pop cultural references. So why wouldn’t it be in our songs?

There’s some nice use of brass dotted around the album, is using different instruments something that comes naturally when writing and recording?

It does come naturally. When I’m writing songs I always hear saxophones and trumpets. It would be a lot easier if I didn’t. It’s not fun having ideas you can’t realise. The day we recorded the brass was my favourite day of recording the last record.

You’re now playing at the Mining Institute but you were originally set to play at The Lit & Phil Library. It isn’t an obvious choice for touring bands to play in Newcastle, so why did you originally choose that venue in particular?

We didn’t choose the venue but I’m told it’s in a beautiful library so I’m excited about playing there. It’s always fun to be playing anywhere that’s not the back room of a pub. The back room of a pub is normally pretty good too though.

Tigercats, Fever Dream, Life Model and E’Spaniel play Mining Institute, Newcastle on Thursday 9th April.

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