Live at Leeds Festival 2008 on Saturday, 23rd August 2008
Tiger Shadow were a late addition to the Introducing Stage. Being such a recent arrival on the Leeds scene that this is only their third gig as a band. Maybe that looks a bit crazy, and maybe it contributed to technical glitches in getting started. But the quality of musicianship and the freshness of their approach completely justified the decision.
Komla MC dominated the stage, physically and musically, even when he went back to play drums on two songs (including "Mystified"). West African by birth, global in musical influences he works well with vocalist Lyndsey Cawthra. The chemistry looks good and smiling, and Lindsey's voice is clear and bright.
Tiger Shadow are bringing together a range of styles and influences to make something new and distinctive. Funk, reggae, trip hop, indie and world music float in and out. It's definitely new sounding, and with Komla's presence it's distinctive and recognisable. But on this stage the mix is looking as tentative and provisional as you would expect this early on. The band are finding out what works and what doesn't. The best bits are the funkier songs, with Komla putting a strong positive vibe into the stream and the percussive strength of the band (drummer and percussionist both working) creating a dance feel. Jim Tycho's bass playing is strong.
At 5.30 in the early evening numbers are down but the smaller crowd is appreciative and at the end of the set Komla's thanks for the opportunity to play are genuine. Comparisons with indie-dance flavoured Tiger Army, who had played just a little earlier on The Festival Republic Stage all run in Tiger Shadow's favour.