|Dan Laidler - Vocals, Guitar|
Julie Sims - Guitar, Vocals
Tina Whitlow - Keyboards, Guitar
Dido Hallett - Keyboards
Seamus Feeney - Drums
|For a brief couple of years in the mid-Nineties, London-based Tiger brightened up the music scene
with their spiky, off-kilter mixture of throbbing keyboards, thrashy guitar and idosyncratic lyrics. Acclaimed by the
music weeklies as the Next Big Thing, they released a string of great singles ahead of their debut album, but sadly
imploded under the weight of expectation before the release of its follow up.
In a well-publicised accident of fate, Tiger were signed to Island in 1996 after A&R reps attending a gig caught their appearance as an unbilled support act and were suitably impressed. However, their debut single, the ebullient 'Shining In The Wood', was released on the indie label Fierce Panda in the Summer of 1996. The music press soon championed the band on the back of some exciting live performances which often bordered on the chaotic. Tiger invited comparison with The Fall, Stereolab and New Wave synth pop, but worked it into their own sound which was fresh and exciting. Too shifty, shouty and eclectically awkward to be considered 'Britpop', and too leftfield and arty to be taken up by the lager anthem crowd, they nevertheless provided a welcome alternative to the bands who wore their Kinks and Small Faces t-shirts a little too obviously, not to mention others whose output were facsimiles of the works of Wire.
Whilst the debut album 'We Are Puppets' couldn't quite maintain the quality of the initial singles, it did contain a number of fine tunes, including 'Shamed All Over', the twisty 'Storm Injector' and the breathlessly thrashy 'She's O.K.'. After an 18 month gap, the band returned in August 1998 with the wonderful 'Friends' single, which appeared to suggest that - vocally at least - their stereo had been frequented often by The Fall. With a shiny production job courtesy of Stephen Street, it was a great pop record. Unfortunately, by the time the second album, 'Rosaria', was released to little fanfare on the Rough Trade imprint Tugboat, Tiger had split.
Both albums should be quite easy to obtain. The singles are also well worth tracking down for the b-sides, and they shouldn't be too hard to get hold of. My personal recommendations are 'Time Tunnel Cellar' ('Race') and the wonderful 'Babe' ('On The Rose') whose middle 8 sounds like a tribute to the Modern Lovers. Look out too for the excellent 'Wensleydale' from the 'Friends' single, which has echoes of Pulp amongst the Magazine-style keyboard work.