Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Whilst flash in the pan new artists fill the O2 with audiences that will have mostly forgotten about them by Christmas, any number of smaller, unsigned acts find themselves touring around the country, playing to anywhere and everywhere with a stage, doing things the hard way.
Given the show put on by London trio Teiger at Camden’s infamous Underworld venue, it’s not unfeasible to see them headlining the Greenwich stage, their slow-burn material something that will attract a loyal and cerebral crowd. In that, Teiger seem to be able to manage several juxtaposed facets with ease, their quiet but loud approach and music that appeals to the intellect as much as it does the soul marking them out amongst a sea of sounds.
Again, this isn’t a ‘show’ in the common meaning of the word, singer/guitarist Talie Rose Eigeland never throwing shapes or running around the stage but keeping her concentration on the songs themselves, only allowing herself the occasional toss of her hair or a foot on her monitor.
This though, is never sterile, the intensity coming from the loud, beating heart of the music, the passion both smoldering and sharp rather than conveyed in big gestures. At the rear of the stage, Jon Steele brings a groove that somehow mixes jazz and rock that can bring intricate patterns one minute whilst suddenly switching to thunder. Similarly, bass player Philip Eldridge-Smith has the look of a Victorian dandy but his fluid playing darts and swoops as he brings fractured patterns of shimmering light.
Here to celebrate the launch of their self-titled debut album, the band have managed to strip their soundscapes to a minimum without losing anything of their magnitude. It’s striking how powerful they sound, the dynamics eschewing the need for banks of Marshall stacks, their honed-down set up bringing its own light and shade on the bare stage with sleight of hand and nuance. This is about creating an atmosphere, their widescreen cinematic canvas at times bringing details into such sharp focus that it feels like they’re whispering in your ear.
From the twisted mystery of instrumental opener ‘The Crawl’ onwards, a spell is seemingly cast on those in the place, entrancing the audience and causing them to sway in time with the cascading rhythms. ‘Sahara’ and ‘Slow Burning’ sound vital but its singles ‘Come and Find Me’ and ‘The Law of Diminishing Returns’ that elicit some the biggest response as words are sung back through a delirious haze. With their cover of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’ seducing and then bruising before the percussive ‘Hydra’ closes the night in emphatic style, the set seems to be over in an instant, its ability to transport everyone into a dreamlike fugue.
The fifty minutes may have gone in the blink of an eye but its echoes last long into the night and doubtless throughout the days to come.
If they can do this here, heaven knows what they’ll be able to achieve in the future. Impossible to describe fully, Teiger seem timeless and have the class, intelligence and muscle to change worlds.
Photography by Adrian Hextall