Fresh off the back of their US tour with Mom Jeans. and Oso Oso, Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts make their Cardiff debut to a sold out crowd in the Welsh capital. With the band’s label, Big Scary Monsters in town hosting a pop-up shop, there’s a definite buzz for the famed energetic live shows of the math-rock trio, helped by their shop takeover held a couple of hours before doors which has encouraged a sizeable audience to amass for the local supports.
Tacet confidently take the stage and instantly treat the crowd to an American Football inspired riff, before hitting a more melodic stride, almost like a less chaotic Tiny Moving Parts. Duelling singers and tight riffs and drum fills from all three members make for show with so many elements to enjoy at once. Their performance was assisted by the dedication of the band, who seem passionate about the music they’re playing. It comes as a surprise that this is only their fourth gig, with their third being an opening slot for The Xcerts just a couple of weeks ago. Though they have no recorded music or merchandise as of yet, Tacet seem to have won over a local crowd who will anticipate their first release. (4/5)
Indie-pop mob Orchards are next. Having announced a signing to Big Scary Monsters last week, the band are out to impress on their first tour under the label. Any pressure seems non-existent as the band kick off their set which consists of bouncy, colourful indie-pop numbers sung with impressive range from vocalist Lucy Evers. Her more reserved audience interaction is offset by her energy during the songs as she kicks and dances around the stage. A few fans have come over from Orchards’ in-store set earlier in the evening, and are adding great atmosphere to an already enjoyable performance. The band play a handful of new songs amongst fan favourites, receiving a positive reception from the whole room. A huge cheer rises for them as the band finish their last song, graciously thanking the Cardiff crowd. With tight performances like that, it won’t be long before Orchards are taking over the festival circuit. (4/5)
The headliners come on next to a huge cheer. A brief introductory riff of typical Tiny Moving Parts style leads into ‘Applause’, which instantly gets most of the room moving and shouting along. There’s no break before ‘Headache’, one of the band’s most popular songs from their 2016 album ‘Celebrate’. It’s largely a mix of this album and latest effort ‘Swell‘ tonight, but the biggest crowd reactions come from some of the band’s earlier work, such as ‘Sundress’ and ‘Always Focused’ which encourage crowd surfers and stage divers to take over the room.
It never ceases to impress how rapidly singer and guitarist Dylan Mattheisen can switch to melodic strumming to fast tapping, all while singing and jumping around. His energy in every set is one of the most enticing things about Tiny Moving Parts, and tonight he feeds of the energy of Clwb’s sold out top floor. A few times he gets in the crowd to jump around and pose for pictures in the middle of songs.
The main set closes with ‘Dakota’, a La Dispute-esque spoken word emo song that defined the Minnesota trio’s early years. It’s an emotional end to the main portion of the set, before calls for an encore encourage the band to return for one last sweaty track. The opening chords of ‘Caution’, the lead single for ‘Swell’, ring out and captures the biggest sing-along moment of the night. Every last ounce of energy is pulled out by both the band and the crowd for the final song which leaves everyone out of breath but incredibly satisfied. (5/5)
Words by Ben Mills (@BenMills28). Photos by Jez Pennington taken at The Dome, London – 13/04/2018.