sun 03/03/2024

Le Tigre, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow review - letting out their emotions while having a party | reviews, news & interviews

Le Tigre, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow review - letting out their emotions while having a party

Le Tigre, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow review - letting out their emotions while having a party

The reformed trio sprinted through a set of songs as relevant as ever

Le Tigre brought politics and partying to the stageMonica Simoes

There was a youthful tinge to the jubilant chorus of “here we, here we, here we f****** go” that greeted Le Tigre arriving on stage.

The band may have not released any new material in well over a decade, but the Glasgow crowd gathered for this reunion show was not simply those who remembered the first time but an all ages mixture, which is a reflection on both the power of the trio’s music and a depressing indictment of the cultural and political issues that still imbue the group’s tunes with relevance.

The latter factor did, at least, have a musical benefit, as at no point did this gig ever feel like a nostalgia jaunt. What it did feel like, from the opening introduction through a 70 minute sweaty sprint of a set, was an emotional celebration, offering a chance to howl your frustrations out to the heavens while having a damn good time in the same instance.

At one stage Kathleen Hanna, the trio’s main vocalist, quipped that that “you’ve got to party for your right to fight”, and that vibe infused the night, meaning that at one moment the group could be spitting out political fury on a thunderous “Seconds”, and at another be running through a cheerful synchronised dance routine to “Yr Critque”, or leading an arms in the air clap-a-thon to “On The Verge”.

This blend, of good time pop, blistering noise from guitarist Johanna Fatema and cathartic release, rarely let up, even during a brief interlude where they nipped offstage for a costume change (switching to a coordinated black and white look) and the clattering “Get Off The Internet” kicked in. It was a tune that feels both prescient and naïve about what was to come, complete with a video showing an old fashioned hourglass loading up while the continual videos were accompanied by lyrics on screen all night, creating the world’s most punk karaoke backdrop.

The majority of those there were unlikely to need the assistance, given the gleeful roars that greeted both the majority of songs, and the three-piece’s statements onstage, from support for trans rights to JD Samson wishing everyone a happy Pride month, while Hanna, still capable of a shrieking vocal, also threw shout-outs to a couple of local groups, in the shape of bis and the Pastels, with the latter being thanked for showing her a different way of being a punk that was free from the “toxic masculinity” of much of that scene.

That also ensured that the night’s most emotional moments had a genuine rawness to them, from Hanna getting teary-eyed prior to a euphoric “Keep On Livin” and Samson taking centre stage on the strutting queer visibility anthem “Viz”, offering a reminder why pop music is at its best when championing the underdog, rather than celebrating the status quo.

That sentiment ran through the encore, culminating with the dancefloor revelry of debut single “Deceptacon”, where it felt like every person in the venue, young and old alike, was cutting shapes while Hanna jumped with a skipping rope. The fight has some way to go, but the accompanying soundtrack is as fresh as ever.

Pop music is at its best when championing the underdog, rather than celebrating the status quo

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters