Photo by Jack Williams
Ahead of Tigercub‘s single launch show at new Camden venue, The Stillery, Lily Armstrong caught up with them to talk about the single, touring and Charlie Parker.
Lily: Talk me through the new single, ‘Centrefold.’
Jimi: It’s actually an older song that we had on our first EP and we reimagined it a new single.
Jamie: And our producer… we met Tom [Dalgety] last year.
Jimi: He’s a cool dude.
Lily: I was going to ask how that came about.
Jimi: It was actually through our friend, Matt Bigland. Our first ever tour was July 2013—with Dinosaur Pileup—and [Tom] had just engineered their second album. Matt really liked one song in particular from our set, and said he wanted to co-produce it with him. Then there’s a lot of other connections as well, but they’re kind of coincidental. That’s exactly how we met Matt.
Lily: And the way that you reimagined the song—what do you think of it now?
Jamie: We simplified it, which is a good thing. And took bits out. We just wanted to go more rockin’. It was a bit weirder before, and we just kind of thought. We just thought, the top line’s nice, y’know, we might as well just make a little more out of it. Flatten it. And it works a little better.
Lily: And how about the b-side?
James: It’s a song that we actually struggled with for quite a while. We weren’t sure it was good enough.
Jimi: We thought it was too dumb. We thought it was too 1-0-1-0.
Jamie: It was Mike—Mike kept saying, “that’s a really good song, that should be the next single.” And somehow, it’s on the b-side. We need to get more stuff out, basically.
Lily: What’s coming up next? What’s your new focus?
Jamie: The album. It’s probably too early to say what our exact plans are. We do have really exciting plans though.
Lily: Is Tom going to be involved too?
Jamie: Tom will be involved, yeah.
Jimi: But we kind of want to make a statement with the first record. You can’t undo your first record, so we’re really gonna spend the next month or so honing on. We’ve got sort of a long list of songs, and hopefully a few of them will be alright, and it’ll be an okay album.
Jamie: Loads of touring next year as well.
Lily: You just toured with Blood Red Shoes, right?
Jamie: Yeah, it was horrible.
Lily: You’re on their label too—this is the first release on the new label, right?
James: It’s the first release that isn’t Blood Red Shoes.
Jimi: They created the imprint to release their own stuff for the last few records. They’ve done I think an album and an EP and a single, or something like that. We’re the first one that’s not them. It’s really exciting, and it’s really exciting that we don’t have a clue what they’re doing, and neither do they, and that is Jazz Life.
James: All about that jazz life.
Jimi: It’s like living inside of Charlie Parker’s left nut and trying to feel around and see what comes out of that.
Lily: There are so many great bands in Brighton right now—what would you say are your favourite local acts?
James: I really like Great Pagans. They’ve just put out an album which I really love. I work at a bar in Brighton, and they played the Drill Festival a couple days ago, and they played a good set, I really like them.
Jimi: I’m really into The Hundreth Anniversary. They’re a really kind of shoegazey, downtrodden, very slacker-y band who are very good friends of ours—my girlfriend is the drummer, so I’m kind of contractually obliged to say that. But they’re really cool, and they’re very underrated in the scene, just because they don’t push themselves in any way. I really like that.
Jamie: I really like Demob Happy. They’re my friends from Newcastle, and they’re finally getting the attention they deserve. There are so many other great bands in Brighton. Like Tusks, they’re mint. They’re so young, and they’re gonna go on to do great things, I’m sure.
Jimi: There’s also, can’t forget to mention, The Wytches, who are just smashing it. The Xcerts, who just put out an incredible album, you’ve got bands like Kagoule—that’s next year’s ‘to watch’ list. There’s just too many to mention, it’s a very rich scene.
Lily: And what do you think about what’s going on in London? Do you feel any particular affinity for the London scene too?
Jimi: Well, a lot of bands from London we meet, we really get on with, but in terms of a scene in London, I’m not aware of a clique of bands like there might be in Brighton. I think it’s much more modular and everyone does their own thing—which is cool; it breeds creativity rather than competition. But yeah, there are some amazing bands in London. Like Our Girl, the half-Brighton, half-London band. I’m really excited to see what they do next year.
Jamie: I really like the Magic Gang from Brighton as well, love that band, they’re fucking cool.
Lily: We’re going to end with a synaesthetic question: What colour is your music?
Jamie: I’d say dark purple.
James: I was gonna say that.
Jimi: Yeah, but kind of with a sparkle… it’s a bit like James’s kit, I think. It’s got kind of a two-tone effect as well. It’s got kind of a brown, but also dark purple. Not deep purple, just dark purple. A fired earth tone. Very much like that.
Jamie: GG Allin’s stained, sparkly purple underpants.
Words: Lily Armstrong
‘Centrefold’ is out now on Jazz Life