Tilly & The Wall - Night & Day - 15.5.076

"We are tillys, we don't give a f**k" they chant Italian Job style before they throw out a series of special moves including a tap dancing drummer, an acoustic troubadour and 5 part harmonies. It could all be a scene out of a Tarrantino movie, and indeed if Uma Thurman ran through the venue with John Travolta in pursuit we surely wouldn't blink, but unlike real life Tarrantino's new stars the 5678s these Canadian protégés of Bright Eyes have an organic simplicity which will see them outlive any novelty value attributed to the aforementioned tap-dancing tubthumper.

About 4 songs in they take the tap out of the equation for "Love Song" and everything still holds together but the staccato sprightly rhythms which are added to "There We Go" simply add to the rich melting pot of folk, 60s girl group pop and the merest hint of emo. At the heart of each Tilly's song is simply an ear for a great melody and whether it's the vocal toplines, the simplistic chord progressions or the 2 note organ backline each part is essential but stands on it's own as a great unique piece of wonderment. "Fell Down The Stairs" is a twee masterpiece which makes Belle & Sebastian sound like Slipknot, "Urgency", a new song never played live before despite the fact that most of these songs are new to this audience, is the sound of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson going into a garage with nothing but a guitar and piano and coming out with the musical version of the A Team, creating something out of seemingly nothing.

"I'm A Believer Of Solid Matter" sounds like Pink Floyd's The Wall reworked as a flamenco classic while "The Freest Man" adds electro beats creating an ambient bliss. The closer "Nights Of The Living Dead" is Underworld's "Born Slippy" complete with four to the floor tap beats and rewritten through the eyes of a cynic rather than a hedonist.

By the end of the set virtually everybody's leaving the venues with stupid inane grins on their faces and it's not because they're wondering exactly how they're going to explain to people at work they just saw a band with a tap dancing drummer, it's because Tilly's tunes are like Belle & Sebastian playing Polyphonic Spree songs and they make you feel all fuzzy inside. Tilly's should be prescribed on the NHS as an alternative to Prozac because these 45 minutes were the happiest moments Designer Magazine's had in years. Sheer bliss

Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com

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