LIVE REVIEW: Tigercats, Chorusgirl, Life Model @ The Cluny 2, Newcastle (20/02/16) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Tigercats

Since their readjustment to a four-piece at the end of last year, Life Model have found a whole new level to their sound, and tonight’s opening set might be the best this writer has seen of them to date. The shoegaze and dream-pop influences remain intact, but the sound is more sprightly, more lively – on their new material, there’s a lightness to the rhythm section and melodic buoyancy that gives them a fresh identity within the genre. There’s even a Kenickie cover thrown in towards the end as an added treat.

Chorusgirl unfortunately don’t offer quite as distinct a performance. There’s some enjoyable mid-noughties indie shapes thrown during their set, but it does all seem slightly stuck on second gear: a mid-set cover of Smog’s Ex-Con, given the full Velvet Underground treatment by the band, is such an obvious highlight that it makes the listener wonder why they can’t grant their own material the same depth of arrangement.

Touring behind their recently released second album Mysteries, Tigercats manage to brighten up a cold winter evening outside with their energetic and eclectic headline performance. Straying further and further away from the standard indie pop template, there’s hints of the DIY disco direction that Mr Twin Sister explored on their last album as well a taste for surprising counter melodies and sounds (courtesy most of all from keyboardist and co-vocalist Laura Kovic). With Duncan Barrett staking his claim as London’s answer to David Berman, Tigercats inject new energy into a tired sub-genre tonight.

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