Live Review: Tigers Jaw, Slaughter Beach Dog and Worrier - Bush Hall, London 06/04/2018
Philadelphia based trio Tigers Jaw released their latest album ‘Spin’ in May last year, and came to the UK last August to debut this album. This month, they’re back in chilly Britain with supports from former Modern Baseball co-frontman Jake Ewald’s recent solo project, Slaughter Beach, Dog and American melodic-punk band Worriers.
We caught them on the first date of the tour at the grand venue of Bush Hall in London. The venue itself is an old dance hall which was converted to a music venue in 2001. It features glass chandeliers and beautifully designed walls and ceilings (a sentence I never though I’d be using anywhere that isn’t an art gallery), which makes for an inviting atmosphere. It lacks the grungey dirty feel that many music venues have, which make it stand out from the rest. Despite being sold out, the venue still leaves room for everyone to move about whilst singing and dancing along to the talent on stage.
First on the stage was Worriers, whom Tigers Jaw will be touring America with next month on The Wonder Years’ ‘Sister Cities’ tour. Fronted by Lauren Denitzio, she grew bored of a music scene dominated by white-cis males, and has created something refreshing and new and brought excitement to the stage with the rest of her band. Even now in 2018, way too many gigs are dominated by males on stage, but Worrier’s are part of the change. Despite stages still being dominated by men, we are seeing a shift in this as a wider spectrum of people take up space on stage. Showcasing their latest release ‘Survival Pop’ released last year, this was well received by the audience, who already had created a reasonable turn out for the first band on stage. Playing songs such as ‘The Possibility’ and ‘WTF is sleep’, the album aimed to create songs that would help people get through difficult times, hence the name ‘Survival Pop’. They are the kind of songs you can dance and have fun to, and this could be seen in the crowd.
Next up came Slaughter Beach, Dog, a solo project of Jake Ewald (ex Modern Baseball), who also brought along former MoBo bassist Ian Farmer, alongside band members Nick Harris (guitar) and Zack Robbins (drums). Opening with ‘Your Cat’, the band instantly brought chilled Modern Baseball vibes to the stage, but still had a uniqueness about them that made them stand out from just being ex-MoBo members. At this point, the room filled up even more and it was great to see how wild everyone went for the band. All too often, support bands get ignored, but not tonight. Both support acts owned the stage and brought two completely different sounds which complimented Tigers Jaw well, and kept things new and fresh throughout the night.
When Tigers Jaw hit the stage, the sold out venue lit up in excitement and cheers came from across the room. One fan even yelled “We missed you”, which shows the love and support Tigers Jaw have over here. Opening the night with ‘Favourite’, the crowd immediately started singing along with all they’ve got. Tigers Jaw’s set started as it meant to go on, with everyone singing along for the rest of the night and squeezing their way to the front as much possible without a single barrier in sight to block them from the stage. As the set progressed, the band played more of their classics such as ‘The Sun’ and ‘Chemicals’, and by the time they got to playing ‘I Was Never Your Boyfriend’, people were jumping off the stage, crowd surfing, and forming a pit to go wild in. For the first date of the tour, this was definitely a night to remember that really sets the tone for what to expect from their future dates on tour. What was also great is the sense of community in the crowd. Whilst cramped at the front of the room by the stage, the crowd all still looked out for each other. If anyone fell, people rushed to make sure they were okay. If anyone wanted to get past, they would politely move out of the way. The entire atmosphere of the night was calming, despite the excitement and stage dives. As they left the stage, the crowd screamed for them to come back, and of course they rejoined the stage, to play not one, but two more songs. As they played ‘Never Saw It Coming’ the crowd completely went crazy with legs flying in the air and the crowd rushing forward to the stage, even those people from the back of the room. Overall, the night wasn’t one to forget any time soon.
Words and Photography by Hayley Fearnley