A gig on Sunday night? But there’s work the next day. But it’s Tilly and the Wall. Yeah, they’re quite good (I think), it’s at the Buffalo Bar (easy to get home from) and best of all it’s only three quid? Oh, go on then.
And I’m so glad I did! What a great gig! I was aware of their wayward charms from their album ‘Wild Like Children’ which I downloaded (inexplicably) free from their US record company’s site a couple of years ago. But I hadn’t listened to the album for ages, which maybe was a good thing as their wonderful girl-boy-girl harmony indie-pop tunes came like something new, fresh and very exciting.
Tilly and the Wall are a five-piece from Omaha Nebraska. The above-mentioned album came out in America in 2004 on Conor ‘Bright Eyes’ Oberst’s record label, but it’s only just come out in this country on indie Moshi Moshi (once home of the mighty Hot Chip). Their USP is that instead of a drummer, they have a tap dancer providing the rhythm section. Could be a novelty. Well, it is, but it’s much more than that…
I’d advise you to beg, borrow (and perish the thought) steal to get to one of their gigs. I can’t remember such an infectious, joyous atmosphere at a gig since my first Magic Numbers gigs back in ’04. The band were on fire, full of smiley manic energy, and "feeling the love" (they said) as they ripped through songs from Wild Like Children and a whole heap of other (new) ones. The tap dancer was something else – pounding her on-stage tap dancing board, and only (deservedly) stopping for breath for the odd song where she is usurped by a beatbox. ‘It’s like aerobic exercise up here for her’ says her bandmate, and she’s right. We’re impressed!
But it’s not just her who’s impressive – they all are. A band worth a place in your heart – as well as your CD collection and your diary. Their ‘tour of London’ ends tonight, with another date at the beginning of March at the Barfly. Let’s hope they’re back soon for more. I reckon next time they’ll be playing to more than 150 people in a sweaty basement. Gig of the year so far and easily one of the best three quids I’ve ever spent.
Here are a couple the songs from the album, which were a highlight for me at the gig (damn it, they all were…).
Download: Shake It Out
Download: The Ice Storm, Big Gust, and You
Go on! Buy Wild Like Children!