This weekend at The Toff, The Tiger and Me and The Nymphs put on two very special co-headlining shows, both of which were being recorded. We were lucky enough to get to the Saturday show and it was an absolute blast. Both bands played an individual set, followed by a joint performance and all 3 sets were absolutely phenomenal.

The Nymphs opened the show, singing a gorgeous mix of originals and covers. The all-female acapella quartet of Jane Hendry (who is also a member of The Tiger and Me), Bek Chapman, Clare Hendry and Kelly Day used their incredible collective range and beautiful 4 part harmonies to great effect, instantly drawing the crowd to attention. It was so quiet in The Toff that all that could be heard was the band, the applause, and someone’s obnoxious ringtone. The Nymphs’ set ranged (in their own words) “from the ridiculous to the sublime” and their combination of phenomenal vocal arrangements and casually intelligent humour really made their set surprisingly fun.

After a short break, The Tiger and Me took to the stage, and instantly got the crowd moving. The first three songs featured Ade Vincent, Jane Hendry and Tobias Selkirk, respectively, taking the lead vocals which brings a wonderful variety to the band, but also a beautiful balance to the songs. The music is stunningly varied, but always demands some sort of physical response whether it is simple toe-tapping or, as the people near where I was standing would attest, intense dancing. By the time they played ‘I Left The Wolves Behind That Night’ from their debut LP From a Liar to a Thief, the crowd were ready and willing to do whatever they were asked so when Vincent requested that the crowd join in the “drunken gypsy singalong” they gladly obliged. The stomping track ‘The Circus or the Zoo’ was another set highlight, with the crowd responding very strongly to it. The band all had moments to shine, but Hendry stole the show with an incredible held note belted out in ‘Red Road’, afterwards stating that it was “the longest ever”.

Finally, after a bit of rearranging, all 10 members of “The Tiger and The Nymphs and Me”, as named on the spot by Jane Hendry, took the stage and began their set with ‘The Smoke’, a track from The Tiger and Me’s The Silent City EP. The Nymphs’ stunning vocals added an extra depth and beauty to an already amazing song and, vice versa, on the second song ‘Shoo Shoo Baby’, The Tiger and Me provided exquisite backing to their already full bodied vocal performance. They played a balanced mix of songs from both bands, with the additional elements only enhancing the songs from their original forms. The Nymphs’ ‘Mr Slink’ was a personal highlight for me, not just because of Bek Chapman’s confession that the song is “sadly” about her cat and not a man, but also because it gave both bands room to show their talent and versatility.

Every song through the whole night was fantastic, I honestly could not fault either bands’ performance and I genuinely felt it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in Melbourne in a long time. My only disappointment was that I didn’t have enough cash to buy every piece of merch available.

Wes Fahey


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