WHITE TIGER A:. A:. Album Launch
DIE LIKE A GOD
TWISTED SUBTERRANEAN DEATH TRAP
KAOS KOLLEKTIV 11:11
Saturday, May 05 at 8:30 PM – Squatters Arms Hotel – 1 George St
White Tiger have been rehearsing since June 2007, and this is their first gig. All the members are old lags who, basically, feel it’s time to stop writing songs which no-one listens to and performing to twelve people and they’re all the members of the support bands. So why not enjoy themselves, they clearly thought?
At the moment, there are five members (if that’s the word I’m looking for. Perhaps ‘disciples’ might be more appropriate); three guitars (one doubling with a pc), a bass and drums. And that is about as far as convention takes us.
Wearing nowt but white paint, improvised loinclothes (the drummer’s looked suspiciously like a bath-towel) and blank mime masks (front and back of the head), White Tiger look ugly (they’re no spring-chickens, sorry girls), disturbing and – here’s the rub – rather comical. Starting up their only song tonight (all 25 minutes of it) they throw themselves into it.
The guitarist with the astonishing dreadlocks (and, consequently, no face) spends most of his time on the floor in front of his amp providing what I’ll describe as the direction of the song; the bass player hurls himself at and around his very noisy big amp as he shores up the dreadlocks, the guitarist/pc player emits huge swathes of complex sound which is brutally undercut by the bald guitarist who looks completely alien – by the end of the song, it’s his guitar which is causing the most mayhem. The drummer simply punishes his kit.
The white paint ran, staining their instruments. The bass player lit up a home brand fly-spray, squirting flame into the air, at the crowd and finally (with some justification) on himself. This bass player has to be seen to be believed; the man’s mad. He humped the remains of the percussion horse, used a miked-up clinical fat vibrator on himself (no, not pretty at all), his bass, the microphone and finally shoved it down his loincloth (now in imminent danger of revealing far too much) and – yes, there’s more – stuck a sparkler in each eye and got a fan to light them up. Members of the audience joined in the general trashing of the percussion horse, various other members left the stage toward the end to get changed into something more human while the others continued. Lyrics; well, I’ve no idea, I couldn’t concentrate on something so mundane. It was an experience, you had to be there.
If I’ve made this sound like one of those interminable, directionless jam sessions I must apologise, because I’ve again not done my job; it most certainly wasn’t; there was power and humour and a hundred shades all at once. There aren’t many bands I could compare them to (and there’s little point, in truth, since what they’re doing has as much in common with Can, Faust, EN or TG, but of course sounds nothing like any of them).
What I will say is that White Tiger have a rare few contradictory qualities. They seem to stop time and send it somewhere else. When they’d finished, I could have sworn they’d played for close on an hour. I was shocked to see only 25 minutes had passed. If you’d listened to any part of the song, at any time during the set, you’d have had difficulty working out if they were beginning, ending or in the middle. And yes, that’s a plus – it means there’s a hell of a lot going on here. I’ve not seen a band be so forceful, so ferocious in their performance and music and yet so funny in many, many years; that both conflicting situations can occur simultaneously is remarkable. Mind you, if there’s still a law against incitement to riot, they could be in trouble.
Musically, White Tiger deserve to be recorded and filmed, if only to go back to over and over to figure out what the hell they’re doing. Frankly, they deserve a special arts grant all of their own; they’d make mincemeat of many of the Fringe acts heading this way (and I tell you what, there’s not a lot of people who’d like to clamber on a stage after White Tiger have done with it).
If you get the chance, go and see what I mean. In fact, look them up on the internet and book them as the party band next time you want to upset your neighbours. As Kermit once said, it’s not easy being green. I suspect it’s not easy being White Tiger, either. Their future White Tiger could be predicted: die a forgettable death; be brilliant but unknown; a striking career beckons and the future is now; or, more likely, perhaps, they’ll get all po-faced and serious and go up their own arseholes. Better people than these have done the latter.
I’ve just realised this review took longer to type all in one go than the band did to perform.” – ROBERT BROKENMOUTH