Home Gigs Gig Review : Tilly – Best Breakup Ever Single Launch Party The Feathers, Lichfield

Gig Review : Tilly – Best Breakup Ever Single Launch Party The Feathers, Lichfield

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Review by Gary Spiller for MPM

I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation

You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation

A girl can do what she wants to do

And that’s what I’m gonna do

Joan Jett – ‘Bad Reputation’

Effervescent and as sparkling as 4th of July celebrations Tilly is currently riding the crest of a tsunamic wave with the recent release of her debut single ‘Best Breakup Ever’.

Welcome to my living room” the Lichfield teenager enthuses. Well, if you’re going to celebrate with a hometown gig where better to do it than your actual home?

Originally a terrace of five cottages, just a stone’s throw from Lichfield’s grandiose cathedral – the UK’s only medieval three-spired cathedral – The Feathers is a most warm and welcoming hostelry. We’ve barely stepped through its doors, and we’ve received the most sizeable of hugs from Tilly herself. There’s a very tangible sense of family within. Something which entwines itself throughout the very fabric of the evening; at the end of their daughter’s seven track set mum and dad, up in the sound desk, embrace in rightfully proud delight.

This is where eminent multi-platinum record producer Mike Krompass (Mutt Lange, Desmond Child, Nellie Furtado, Steven Tyler amongst many) first discovered Tilly singing at an open mic night some four years ago. Returning the following day enquiring after the identity of the captivating singer Mike was informed by the landlord that this was, indeed, his daughter and she would be home from school shortly!

Run by Tracey and Mike, Tilly’s livewire parents, The Feathers immediately strikes as a place to be happy. With nearly a million Youtube views on her debut single’s video and the runners up spot in Classic Rock’s Single Of The Week upon the track’s release there’s a whole host of reasons to smile. Indeed, Tilly doesn’t stop smiling throughout; her enthusiasm and firecracker personality is highly infectious.

With its defiant message of “I don’t give a fuck about you” the video of ‘Best Breakup Ever’ provides the introduction for Tilly’s debut performance. The Feathers is packed to the rafters as the band assemble upon its stage with images of The Beatles flanking.

The diminutive of Matilda, Tilly lives up to her name’s meaning of might and readiness in battle. A tight-as-you-like group surround her – former Firekind drummer Mitch Pike, whirlwind bassist Daisy Pepper (whom we last saw gigging with Aberdare songstress Laura Evans) and the industrious fretwork of Mike Krompass.

Tilly exudes a confidence ushering the crowd closer before hitting the gas “First of all you can come forward, I don’t bite promise! Mike maybe!” “Never looked good in a halo” cantillates livewire Tilly in opening track ‘Youth Wasted’. Its buzzsawing nitro-punked up pop is coruscant and tastily echinate in nature.

Nestling, most comfortably, in the mid-ground between Avril Lavigne and Halestorm there’s a strengthened edge to ‘Happy Now’. Gripping the mic tightly with both hands the opening lines are belted out by Tilly with an inner strength. The number escalates before bursting into volcanic life with powerage in the vein of The Runaways.

‘Lightning Strikes’ – “The first track I recorded with Mike” Tilly informs – sees Krompass’ six-string opulence take a slice of the foreground as the track stampedes across the pop-punk plains. Ebbing and flowing, surging with consummate ease it pulls back from the precipice in equal measure. The vocals are expansive and wide-ranging.

There’s a raucous reply to Tilly’s enquiry “Do we have any Paramore fans in the room?” A raging kinetic is unleashed in the form of ‘Misery Business’. “This is a dance floor, please feel free to use it!” offers the punk-fuelled dervish Tilly. It feels natural territory to head for a cover version and the cracking rendition that is delivered is devoured ravenously.

To Tilly’s apparent surprise, and delight, a good natured mosh pit opens up during ‘Best Breakup Ever’, it’s rumbustious and boisterous but doesn’t overspill. The debut single is another matter entirely, Tilly steps back from the mic and sings the chorus, unplugged, with the crowd. It’s one of those special moments on a momentous evening. The gathered ensemble knows this too, clamouring for further tracks. “I love you all” she emotes furthering “I haven’t got any more!”

Paul Weller once sagely observed “The public gets what the public wants” and so it proves as not one, but two tracks are reprised for an unscripted and completely unplanned encore. ‘Youth Wasted’ and ‘Happy Now’ are coupled together in a storming brace. Blowing a kiss to her mum, Tracey, mid-track Tilly beams. This is her evening and the beginning of something very special if my senses prove correct; I felt this upon the first viewing of Those Damn Crows six years ago. This is a starlet in the making who is arena-ready, you better believe it.

Photography by Kelly Spiller for MPM

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