Live Music + Gig Reviews

Tiffany Page @ Upstairs At The Garage, London

19 January 2010

Neneh Cherry once sang that this was a woman’s world.

She also sang that she had all of Ethiopia inside of her. That aside, even a cursory glance at the current state of music suggests that Neneh knew a thing or two. The music industry seems to be fronted by women right now. It’s considerably easier to think of deserving solo female artists who were left off the BRIT Awards nomination list than their male counterparts.
So it’s not surprising that the major labels are searching for and investing in a seemingly endless supply of girls, in the hope that interest in female solo artists with a commercial spin hasn’t peaked just yet.

One of the new crop is 23-year-old Londoner Tiffany Page. A name like that deserves to see the limelight. Having secured a deal with Mercury she’s found herself with an opportunity to make it happen.

We caught her on the first of three consecutive Tuesday night gigs at the small upstairs room at the Garage. Cranking up her experience quota, this short residency is being fitted into a wider touring schedule that takes her around the southern half of England before she tackles some larger venues supporting Noisettes.

Her first track, Police, makes her manifesto pretty clear. She’s setting herself up as a rockier, rawer alternative to the Pixie Lotts of this world. It’s an upbeat jaunty track with a Fratellis feel, and it’s heavier than your typical pop starlet material. There’s a strong bass line that dominates not just her opening song, but most of the set. Page’s voice is deep and raspy and in tune. If she was to be compared to someone, the most obvious would be Pink, especially on ballad 7 Years Too Late.

What lets her down are the songs. It’s not even that they’re bad, just that they’re rather run of the mill. There is of course a market for this breed of soft rock, and if the machine behind her promotes her well, songs like forthcoming single Walk Away Slow can feature quite comfortably on teen drama soundtracks. But there’s little to stimulate a listener who’s after a bit of quirky edge.

It’s also a shame that she doesn’t make much effort to win her audience over. She does admit, when introducing her last song Playing With Fire, that this has been terrifying, and so you do want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

And it is still very early days. With her debut single not due for release until March and a lot of gigs ahead of her, she has time to improve her game. She’s going to need to if the page is to be turned and a new chapter opened.

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More on Tiffany Page
Tiffany Page – Walk Away Slow
Tiffany Page @ Upstairs At The Garage, London