Tilly And The Wall + The Little Ones @ The Rescue Rooms, Notts
Mother Nature must have known that two of America's most sunny bands had arrived in Nottingham last Monday as for the first time in months that bright yellow star was visible in the Midlands sky and everyone seemed that little bit more upbeat. This atmosphere must have been epicentred on The Rescue Rooms as warmth and smiles seemed illuminate even its gloomiest corners.
After having to watch a piss poor set by The Displacements (the lead singer didn't even take off his coat), who thought they were The View/The Libertines/any good, I managed to push my way to near the front to catch The Little Ones. The Californian 5-piece arrived on stage, all smiles and joy, which pretty much describes their sound, its all cute and cheery, but its nothing inspriarional. There's enough hand-clapping and little catchy singalong bits to keep me entertained for a half hour set but beyond that i could see myself getting bored quite quickly. One of their songs started like She Wants To Move by NERD but it eventually turned into another sun-soaked 3 minuter. They finished their set with Lovers Who Uncover, the most accessible song of their recent mini-album Sing Song, and then they were gone, probably to take their sunrays to another place.
Tilly And The Wall have been up in my top bands ever since i discovered them a year or so ago. They create an atmosphere live that i haven't felt at many other occasions. Bursting onto the stage as usual, with their dancing, stomping, shouting intro, after a little guitar feedback from new member, Mason, and just never stoppped from there. This was the first time i'd seen them with the extra electric guitar work from Mason and it really seemed to add something to the songs. Whereas on cd they've many-an-instrument at hand layer on top of their sweet indie pop songs but sometimes live, when it was just the five of them, some of the tracks seemed a little thin but the addition of an extra six-string fills in all the gaps, although i'm still waiting for the trumpets on Bad Education.
They played materials from both albums and a new one!!! It began with a feet-beat driven dance routine bit from the girls until it broke into one of the most aggressive songs i've heard from them. There was lots of swearing and shouting but it still sounded like Tilly and with a nice singalongable bit, it was still as catchy as ever. The finished the set with The Ice Storm.. and then came back for an encore which consisted of Pictures Of Houses, which was incredible and as usual Night Of The Living Dead, and then left to big ovation. Probably the best performance i've seen from the Tilly lot and from the amount i danced and sang along, the most fun too.
They're releasing The Freest Man, their 3rd single off Bottom Of Barrels, in March with a remix of Sing Songs Along by Hot Chip, which i can't wait to hear.
The Little Ones - Lovers Who Uncover
Tilly And The Wall - The Freest Man
Tilly And The Wall - Pictures Of Houses
There's some more photos of the gig at my flickr