Gig Review

The Noisettes
Little Comets, Tiffany Page
Birmingham, Academy
23rd October 2009
The Noisettes             Little Comets         Tiffany Page    
Photo Of Little Comets © Copyright Helen WilliamsI arrive just in time to catch the first support of the night, Tiffany Page. She’s an acoustic folk singer from North London who plays a charming but short set, accompanied by her small band. Her music is inoffensive enough, but the songs roll into one, and I get the feeling I’ve seen it all before. Predictably, she’s barefoot, and seems to think she’s a bit more ‘different’ than she actually is.

Thankfully, Little Comets pick up the pace, with some fun pop-rock. Vocalist, Robert Coles pulls some fantastic expressions as he sings, and drummer Mark Harle is probably the most animated drummer you’ll ever have the pleasure of watching. They’ve hung various percussion instruments from a string stretching across the front of the stage, so they can give their tambourine a quick shake, or their saucepan a quick bang during a song. The Little Comets are inventive and full of enthusiasm, and gain a lot of new fans from the excitable audience; a perfect way to warm up for the main act.

Photo Of The Noisettes © Copyright Helen WilliamsThe Noisettes appear fashionably late on stage, and are welcomed by their impatient fans. Shingai Shoniwa’s silhouette is poised on a plinth in the middle of the stage as the band launch straight into ‘Don’t Upset The Rhythm’. Her costume is fittingly flamboyant, and she plays brilliantly to the audience. She keeps up the momentum with another hit, ‘Wild Young Hearts’, from their latest album of the same name.

The last time I saw the Noisettes was at the end of 2006, supporting Muse. At the time, they seemed like an immature band, lacking direction and substance. Needless to say, they’re a totally different band today, and are enjoying well-earned success since the release of ‘Wild Young Hearts’, earlier in the year. They play gorgeously crafted soulful, but upbeat, songs, complemented perfectly by Shingai’s sultry voice.

They play a seamless blend of new and old material, and even slip in covers of a couple of classics – ‘When We Were Young’ by the Killers and the fantastic ‘Children Of The Revolution’ by T-Rex, during which Shingai climbs up to the balcony and serenades the audience seated upstairs. Shingai is the star of the show, but we shouldn’t ignore the rest of the band; guitarist Dan Smith is ridiculously talented and even plays with his teeth at one point; drummer Jamie Morrison is like a man possessed behind his instrument; and her back-up singers/dancers add even more so to the energy of the explosive show. This band really knows how to perform, and they have brilliant chemistry.

Photo Of The Noisettes © Copyright Helen WilliamsThe highlight of the show is ‘Atticus’. Shingai climbs up a rope ladder covered in fairy lights and delivers the entire performance 15 feet above the audience. In true style, she even performs a few acrobatics for us, but manages to return safely to the stage (to the relief of her tour manager, I would imagine).

They return for their encore to rapturous applause, and opt for a couple of older songs, ‘Scratch Your Name’ and ‘Sister Rosetta’ to play us out. At the end, the entire band joins hands and bows to the audience, a fitting end to a glittering performance fit for the West End.

Tiffany Page – 3/5
Little Comets – 4/5
Noisettes – 5/5

Review By Helen Williams

 The Noisettes

Shingai Shoniwa (vocals, Bass)
Dan Smith (backing vocals, Lead Guitar)
Jamie Morrison (drums)

 Little Comets


 Tiffany Page

Tiffany Page (Guitar, Vocals)

 Band Related Links
The Noisettes Myspace
Little Comets Myspace
Tiffany Page Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?