We all know that Wales has produced some of the UK’s greatest musical talent over the years, and South Wales five-piece Tiger Please are not about to break the tradition. A crowd of bright young things have eagerly arrived at Bournemouth’s iBar, ready to kick off the summer holidays with a night to remember.
Mightily impressive local support comes from Basingstoke outfit The Fortunate. The four fresh faced youngsters are fronted by Natalie Woodward. She may be small but her voice most certainly is not. Natalie and the band perform a catalogue of infectious pop/rock tunes that deserve to be classics. They also give a stunning rendition of U2’s With Or Without You. The Fortunate are definitely ones to watch.
Let’s Go Safari don’t leave quite the same impression this evening. The electro-pop duo from Poole consists of Clive Robert Coats – a.k.a. The Panda - and Ryan Daniel Wood – a.k.a. The Tiger. They come across as a not-quite-as-talented and not-quite-as-funny, Tenacious D, and their very quiet backing track doesn’t do them any favours. Nevertheless, they appear to have a solid fanbase and as the set progresses, a few potential hits emerge. The catchy sing-a-long in ‘Mister Masochist’ proves to be a memorable highlight.
It’s then time for tonight’s Welsh visitors to showcase their talent. Cardiff five-piece Cuba Cuba build a wonderful wall of sound with their angular pop. Combining the catchiness of Canterbury and the ambiance of Bloc Party, Cuba Cuba are onto a winner. What they lack in energy they make up for in dry wit and stage banter with tonight’s headline act.
Soon enough, it’s Tiger Please’s turn to show us how the Welsh do it. Frontman Leon Stanford’s powerful voice inspires powerful sing-a-longs on tracks from the EP and debut album. But it’s the new material that steals the show. It’s clear that Tiger Please are supurb storytellers, so it’s just as well that their second album is a compilation of songs inspired by stories emailed to the band by their devoted fans. Leon is clearly a little disappointed when crowd attendance appears to dwindle towards the middle of the set, so brings out some old tracks inspired by the presence of the boys from Cuba Cuba – two of whom are ex-Tiger Please members – to pick things up again. Despite Tiger Please ending their set with a song about suicide, the crowd still leave iBar with beaming smiles. Now that is quite an achievement.