Here’s a thing I wrote a while back about a group called NO MORE TIGER that Chloe used to be in. This event happned on Valentine’s Day 2015. The show featured fine music, fun and my Valentines Day gift to Chloe.
No More Tiger at Pop!South at The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, February 14th.
There is a terrible trend in music just now of being overly earnest and that is rotting through both the mainstream and what is perceived as being the alternative. Actually it’s not just in music, it’s happening way too much in most of the creative fields. I think earnest is pretty much my least favourite thing music, film or T.V. can be. You’ll have a TV writer giving the Doctor in Doctor Who a speech that they seem to think is as profound and as quote-worthy as Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and in an instant they’ve spoiled a good fun episode. There is a real misconception that by being earnest you make something more worthy, more profound and more moving; wrong, wrong and wrong.
Some “artists” will use it to boast about their virility or to show just how sensitive they are in a narcissistic way – but don’t trust them. Their being earnest does not mean they are telling the truth. Don’t let them fool you. They forget that understated, funny, dumb and honest can be profound and will ultimately make a deeper connection because it’s for real. So it’s refreshing and reassuring when a group like No More Tiger comes along, where there’s none of that dire earnestness and they seem totally contrivance free. They seem like a “for real” gang of misfits singing good, genuinely quirky and warm hearted songs.
Okay I’ll admit it one of No More Tiger is also a BMX Bandit but that’s got nothing really to do with it, honest. For the last 6 months or so I have been finding life hard and finding very little joy in the world, I’m not normally like that, but during No More Tiger‘s 40 or so minutes on stage at the Glad Cafe it felt like things made sense again and that the world and I were going to be okay. Now of course, I know their music isn’t really going to end all of the world’s crises – or mine – but feeling all better, even for a little while is a very good thing.
They sing songs about bus routes, doppelgängers, people lost on desert islands, siblings falling out, local rebels and, according to singer and multi-instrumentalist Flore, about nothing at all. I’m not sure I believe her. There are echoes of The Andrews Sisters, The Ink Spots, Jonathan Richman, The B52s, The Cookies in their sound and even a touch of Moondog, but they still have a unique and strong musical identity all of their own. They wear funny and sometimes sexy outfits on stage but it’s never wacky, it always seems super cool without trying and just right. There’s also a lovely warm very charming easy humour between the members of the group on stage that makes you feel glad to be in their company while they are on stage together. One particular in between song fun moment was when Jim noticed Chloe’s special Valentine on stage outfit and couldn’t hold in his surprise. (See Chloe smiling at Jim’s surprise abovet, photo © Katie Pope).
Jim McAteer’s country tinged You’re Not My Friend, featuring bassist and flautist Chloe (the aforementioned Bandita) on lead vocal, really needs to be a single. “You’re not my friend I don’t like you. I know that you don’t like me too. I tell you what we’re going to do I’ll count to ten and then we’re through.” I sing along with almost every word but quietly so not to ruin other people’s fun and I smile from start to finish at their shows.
I reckon No More Tiger could be the happiest sound around.
No More Tiger have an album available on: Bandcamp.
Additional photo of Chloe by Michael Prince.