Live: The People The Poet – London Lexington

By Tom Aylott

It’s been a while since TIGER PLEASE last played London. In that time they’ve recorded with Gil Norton, written half an album and more recently announced a complete overhaul, ‘TIGER PLEASE’ are to be no more and as such, tonight’s show is intended as both a farewell to that name and an introduction to ‘THE PEOPLE THE POET’

First up is GRETA ISAAC, who’s twenty minute set is nice. It’s easy to see the appeal here, though something that a lot of people would have seen before. Greta manages to captivate the attention of those few at the front watching, and despite one or two nervous slip ups, she generally does well.

Next on was THOMAS JENKINS of STRAIGHT LINES fame. His set does encourage a few more people to head down onto the floor to have a watch and a dance. Tom is very good at what he does and a lot of the STRAIGHT LINES songs translate well acoustically. He even finds time to pay tribute to tonight’s headliners with a cheeky cover. All in all, it’s a good set that provides a much needed energy injection into the night.

Main support tonight is ROB LYNCH, and one of the first things he does is make a confession that he’s not long off a flight from America and as a result is severely jetlagged. Despite this and a broken guitar string at one point, what followed was a massively impressive set. Playing songs that incorporate the old with the new, he forces people to stand up and take notice, and by the time he closes things up with ‘My Friends and I’ most people in the room are happily dancing away. It’s a true testament to how far Rob has come recently and he’s only going to get stronger.

By the time TIGER PLEASE were due to take to the stage The Lexington had filled out very nicely, and it’s clear that this really does mean a massive amount to the band – a band that are at a pivotal moment in their career – and from the moment they do step on stage they look at home, playing songs from both of their releases. ‘Without Country’ inspires the biggest sing-along of the night (and rightly so).

However, it is the songs from 2010’s ‘Seasons’ release that go down especially well, with ‘Autumn Came the Fall’ providing a particularly poignant moment as front man Leon Stanford paid tribute to former label boss Tom Beck of Walnut Tree Records for taking a (very good) chance on the band, and as the last moments of the song ring out – the emotion of saying good bye to TIGER PLEASE is there for all to see.

It was then, at last, time to say hello to THE PEOPLE THE POET. With new band members being introduced, there is a sense of excitement and enthusiasm for the what the future does hold for the band and as with their previous name, the potential for THE PEOPLE THE POET is almost unfathomable. Make no mistake about it, this band are going for it full pelt. As they showcase songs from their upcoming album it’s easy to see that they’ve taken a massive step up, with new song ‘Stabilisers’ proving to be a big highlight. There’s a distinct ARCADE FIRE vibe going on, and they pull it off with aplomb in a serious show of strength in what to expect from THE PEOPLE THE POET.

Tonight’s show was a great showcase for what British music has to offer, with four very different acts on the line up, if any of the four were in the charts this time next year it wouldn’t surprise us one little bit, but the night did truly belong to TIGER PLEASE THE PEOPLE THE POET.