MAMAS BOYS/TIGERTAILZ – THE VENUE, EDINBURGH
A NIGHT of contrast, you may say, but aside from the obvious musical and visual differences. Mama’s Boys and Tigertailz have a fair bit in common.
Both are hardworking, they’re exciting live, they are hungry and they enjoy themselves. In short, neither is content to rest on their considerable laurels, and that makes for interesting viewing.
Faced with a predictably packed venue, Tigertailz set out to please with ‘Shoot To Kill’ and ‘Star Attraction’. The title track of the album ‘Young And Crazy’ followed, by which time the TT’s had discovered the minute stage space was inadequate for their usual antics. Somehow they found room to spin, gyrate. bump’n’grind their way through ‘Livin’ Without You’. ‘Turn Me On’ and a roasting rendition of ‘She’s Too Hot’; the highlight of the set.
Bidding a first fond farewell with ‘Shameless’ and ‘City Kidz’, the largest shareholders in the British hairspray and make’ are persuaded to return for Motley Crue’s ‘Livewire’, leaving the audience mostly impressed.
There’s no denying that Tigertailz are an exciting bend to watch but I have a nagging suspicion that their longer term prospects will depend more on the quality of their songs than their hectic good-time stage show.
Now Mama’s Boys could teach them a trick or two here. With no pretentions to be anything but themselves, Mama’s Boys also deal out a good time but proved conclusively tonight that you don’t need an OTT image and a frantic stage show to do it. They understand the basics and deal with the frills later. While Mama’s Boys have feel, Tigertailz grope. It’s all down to groove and rhythm really. Oh, and songs.
All the family favourites were there tonight, from classics like ‘Needle In The Groove’, ‘Lettin’ Go’ and ‘Straight Forward’, through to the pick of the latest album ‘Growing Up The Hard Way’. Of the new songs, ‘Bedroom Eyes’ had a groove deeper than a bottomless pit, ‘Last Thing At Night’ dripped with emotion squeezed from a Thin Lizzy/Gary Moore vibe and the failed single ‘Waiting For A Miracle’ again exposed the injustices of Radio One’s
airplay decisions. Needless to say, the bulbous audience loved it and responded accordingly.
A couple of months ago, when Mama’s Boys played Edinburgh Venue on their comeback tour, new vocalist Keith Murrell looked just a touch out of place. Since then it’s been up to him to develop his position amongst the McManus trio to become a focus for their individual talents. He certainly showed tonight that he knows when to lead and when to sit back, and is obviously playing a key role in elevating the band to a new peak of greatness.
He’s also got a bloody good voice, which always helps.
Young bands like Tigertailz can’t be expected to become supergroups immediately, they need time to mature. In the meantime, why not look for experience, quality and attitude in bands who’ve been around? After all this time, Mama’s Boys still have everything it takes to be huge. How about it?
A superb show that night. Both bands on fire – TT’z with Steevi Jaimz, great stuff.
TIGERTAILZ / GYPSY QUEEN – ASTORIA, LONDON
Gypsy Queen are a safe, hetero strip-show on long legs. Parading their considerable charms in lace micro-skirts and fiendish leggings, Pammie and, er, the other one, wave the obvious in your face.
You just know the band are gonna play the national anthem on their guitars. You just know you ain’t gonna see the sisters’ knickers. They hide their pyros in Dusty Bin and go in for kitsch, sentimental flag-waving as they cover Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’,
It’s a surprise to discover the girls can sing but once the novelty of trying to distinguish the two has worn off, Gypsy Queen are as ordinary as their name Suggests.
Tigertailz are funny.
“Am I the best looking girl you’ve seen on stage tonight?” asks Kim Hooker. The pantomime has begun.
Half the appeal of Tigertailz is watching their gross incompetence. Of course they’re too big to bother with a soundcheck and as a result they lose guitars and drums for three numbers. What the hell, they’re up on stage and that’s all that really matters.
They’ve set themselves up as lovable, side-show spiders in blouses and bangles, and being so totally dreadful is part of the deal. Kim is Welsh but affects an accent somewhere just below Los Angeles. They’ve been sold Jackie Collins’ America so hard that they probably take Miami Vice as gospel. But Kim Hooker is no shy replacement for Steevi Jaimz and, be honest, do you really care whether he can sing?
Pepsi Tate and Jay Pepper deliver short, blurred rifts end dash across the stage like headless chickens. They pack ‘Livin’ Without You’ and a completely shredded ‘Shameless’ into a frantic set that is appreciated by the front ten rows going gabba. Music? Mmm, maybe a little in there amongst the image.
Tigertailz are fun, funny and as famous as you’d care to make ‘em. Naturally they crucify Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ as an encore, even dumping their instruments for a brief and hilarious rap-attack!
How long before their star either explodes or simply fizzles out is anyone’s guess. Tonight was a laugh and a vast improvement. Really just a crass excuse to die laughing and that’s fine for the moment.