Entering Latitude 30 as Chew Lips arrived onstage was akin to wandering into a rainforest as sounds of nature invited you closer to the primal din. As the band lined up, with frontgirl Tigs afforded a delayed entrance, all seemed well with first night carnage yet to fully kick off. Then they were plugged in; nature morphed into opening track Eight and Tigs’ vocals took on meaning. Rich and soulful with just the right gauge of sincerity to entrance, her backing duo then let loose a commanding din of bleeps and beats. If the reverberating bass tones may have battered your senses into submission, there was no help in taking your eyes off the main attraction. With Will Sanderson and James Watkins switching and shoe gazing between instruments, the blonde bombshell would throw shapes and dictate your attention. Few were able to resist.
Without overplaying the front-girl role; like a pixie on Friday night who knows the right blend of soundbites and sexy moves, Tigs alone would have been entertainment enough. Even her stage patter was toned down to maximum effect as she gave herself only a few nods and remarks to charm. Take the demanding 'Play Together', with its sudden drop in tone yet with a few slinks of her slender frame, the track was transformed into a bona fide crowd pleaser when few, if any, had previously heard it. Their secret lies in the delivery; a thrilling minimal yet calculated sound of funky Casio-pop, a tone so familiar but made transfixing. Admittedly she was suffering from a throat infection, not that anyone noticed during the climax of the set, a mesmirising rendition of 'Solo'. Or when she wandered across the stage onto the bar as eyes followed her considered steps, leaving bargirls to smile on regardless. Her audience were too.