The lineup: James Hill (vocals), Miles Metric (bass, percussion, vocals), Ollie White (drums), Alex Oldroyd (guitar, samples, keys, vocals), Max Cleary (keys, vocals), Charlie Brown (percussion).
The background: The Other Tribe are an indie band you can dance to, that old chestnut, a throwback not just to the days of the Klaxons but to the Shamen and Meat Beat Manifesto, to the first time people used the phrase “indie band you can dance to”. The second time, actually, if you count A Certain Ratio, the Pop Group et al, and you probably should. Like the Pop Group, the Other Tribe are from Bristol, although what they do is virtually the opposite to the former’s dour funk noir – this is jubilant techno, with tribal percussion, ravey keyboards and rhythms and catchy topline melodies sung in a crazed falsetto by someone eager to convey the idea that there’s a party going on right here, right now. They’ve been voted best live act in Bristol and we see no reason why they shouldn’t become an enormous attraction in Britain’s other major conurbations, and their appropriateness for festivals is quite uncanny. They could, for example, be at Glastonbury in 59 minutes. Just saying.
They’re already proving popular in gig venues and warehouse parties, this barmy bunch of circus freaks (well, graduates of Bristol Uni), with their painted bodies and mix of live performance and DJ set. People who weren’t around to see, say, the Shamen, are talking excitedly about the way each track runs straight into the next at their gigs “with the intensity you might expect from a techno DJ”, while the band themselves have declared their intention to “emulate a DJ set while also being a live band”. The six-piece have signed to the Black Butter label, who have just enjoyed a No 1 single with Rudimental’s Feel the Love, and although it’s totally different, the Other Tribe’s next single, Skirts, has a similarly giddy exuberance, with the potential to be a massive summer anthem. Oops, they’re releasing it in September. Make that “with the potential to be a nostalgic autumn anthem that reminds revellers of summer 2012”.
Skirts is just one of several examples of tOT’s big beat infectiousness. Don’t Need No Melody marries the ancient free-party soundsystem vibe of Spiral Tribe to the poppiness of a band like Friendly Fires. And Businessman on Diazepam is like Calvin Harris’s Acceptable in the 80s with a student union ravey-ness that was acceptable in the early-90s and a manic cackle from the lead singer that should remind older readers of Ebeneezer Goode. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to daub your body with something that glows in the dark and do unspeakably arhythmic things in a muddy wood at the side of a festival field at night before returning to the office on Monday with a terrible hangover and tiny flecks of luminous paint under your fingernails.
The buzz: “They’re the band you lose yourself to in a sweaty warehouse party and the band you can’t stop dancing to in a sun-drenched field.”
The truth: They’re coming on like a seventh sense.
Most likely to: Make you lose your shirt.
Least likely to: Wear skirts.
What to buy: Skirts is released by Relentless/Black Butter on 23 September.
File next to: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Friendly Fires, the Shamen, Crystal Fighters.
New Band of The Day – The Guardian • Paul Lester (August 10th 2012)
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