Ragged Tiger, a band that revels in their confidence in their abilities, whilst some could confuse this with arrogance, it is a refreshing thing to witness as they are able to show case their undeniable talent. It was clear that to this turbulent trio of talent, made up of Taylor Fisher on vocals, Joe Heywood on Base and James Day on Drums, it did not matter whether there was 1 or 100 people in the crowd they knew they were going to put on a show.
The three-piece band step out onto stage, curiously dressed in smart – or in the lead singer’s case – loud suits, who knows what they’re thinking. Ragged Tiger are quick to get going, and immediately grabbed the audience’s attention with their punchy tunes. The rock- trio kick off their set with some of their earliest and head-bang-worthy songs such as ‘Vodka Smile’, ‘Leave Before the Lights Come on’ and ‘Red and Gold’, with Fisher quickly realising that the suit jacket possibly wasn’t the right idea for such an energetic set. These songs have a gripping, hearty and heavy bass line, which is impossible to forget, thanks to Joe, this coupled with talented guitar solos and impressive drumming talent by drummer, James Day results in an impressive and overwhelming wave of cohesive talent.
Ragged Tiger then smoothly transition into a cover of Depeche Modes’ ‘Enjoy the Silence’. This track showcases the bands ability to reinvent and put a creative spin on a well-known classic, which famously is quite risky to do, and even more difficult to do well.
The band punch back into their unique merge of rock, blues with a broad overlay of dirty fuzz. They play out their next few tracks with this filter, ‘Why Does the Tiger Never Hide’, shows off their confident personas in a slick, polished track.
As the band approach the final few songs of their set, they joke with each other in between and during the songs, displaying a playful side, showing that they don’t take themselves overly seriously. The penultimate song ‘Stopping’ reiterated their fast paced and self-assured panache. Ragged Tiger finished their set with their heaviest song ‘Strike Like a Match’, ensuring that their final going out song would be, full of energy, completely immersive and somewhat explosive.
To classify Ragged Tiger would be impossible, they are a collective mix of Dirty Blues, 80’s Poodle Rock and elements of modern Mancunion swagger that puts Gallagher (L) to shame, second to none by King Mancunion Monkey himself, the great-not-late Ian Brown.
Besides the singer, Fisher is sometimes somewhat out-shone by James Day (and that isn’t easy) who while though he was physically drumming on stage in the Northern Quarter, mentally believed he was playing to thousands at the MEN. As for Joe, without the stability of the thundering metronomic base line, their set would not be able to finish.
This is not the first time I have been to see this band, and clearly a connection is being made from what was one a hand full of people in the crowd at the beginning of the year, to racking up more and more dedicated fans, who are keen to go on the journey with them.
Make sure you go down to see them, give them some heckle and you’ll be sure to get some back, and you’ll be able to boast in a few years that you were one of the first to know about them.
Catch them on the 22nd September at Night People.