With elements of the generic ‘Manchester sound’ in Tigerside, and for me particularly the Stone Roses, from David Eagle’s opening drum pattern here to Jono’s vocals; he’s a cross between the Ians Brown and Curtis, with an economical delivery that dates from a previous era. But it’s blended with traditional House, which is where they have their roots and towards the end of the track, when keyboardist Riven and guitarist Greggsy are in full flow, it’s gravitating into electro-pop with a powerful and memorable melody line which has evolved throughout, and with an increasing ferocity. Backing vocals come courtesy of the Pub Landlord, Esther, who, for me, could do that job for just about anyone.
In short it’s a melange. House yes; but semi-detached.
The song evolved out of an old one from Greggsy called ‘Crash’, which had languished for years before being resuscitated by Riven, who also gave it its new title although not for any particular reason.
The lyrics (by Jono) are equally obscure. In the band’s own words, “F**k knows (what they mean). We just leave him to it really.” I’m afraid I can’t shed any light on them either although I did notice an intriguing lyric in the Middle Eight, “Act one loads a gun, Nine acre must go on…” apparently a reference to a street on the Ordsall housing estate in Salford, a place with the same repute as Eminem’s 8 Mile and bringing the suggestion of a little Gunchester charisma to the proceedings.
And if I can echo the band again, “…as usual we threw the kitchen sink at it. The title of the song, the lyrics, the artwork, the video; together they don’t make sense. But they kinda do??? If that makes sense.”
It does. And that’s what makes Tigerside so lovable. It’s as nonsensical as what The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band used to produce but it equally has depth and substance at the same time and more importantly it leaves you feeling good. Ready to take on pandemics, megalomaniac politicians, food shortages, petrol queues, inflation and all the rest of it with a spring in your step.
Now all we need is an album, to restore some normality.
‘Any Contact’ was produced & mixed by Dave Tolan in Hope Mill Recording Studios in Manchester, (who has worked inter alia with The Charlatans, Primal Scream, Gloria Gaynor, Tori Amos and Patti Smith) and mastered by Jim Spencer. It is released on 15th October 2021 along with a video made by Greggsy