All Words & Pictures: Henry Groves – All Rights Reserved
On the final show of the UK leg of their ‘Ultra World Tour’, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs (A.K.A Pigs x7) had come to play their biggest show in the capital to date, at O2 Kentish Town Forum.
The first support of the evening was Liverpool based, and Pigs x7 labelmates Bonnacons of Doom. Even at 7:30, the excitement and anticipation for the large crowd that had come down early was apparent, and the venue was already buzzing. As the music died, and the lights faded, the next thing I saw was the band walking on stage, with giant mirrored masks covering their faces. The masks worn by every member except lead singer ‘Katie Smith’ gave them an almost cult feel, and the intensity in the room was apparent before the music even started. Their set was intense, immersive and almost hypnotic, with driving basslines, hard guitar riffs and sensational vocals. Each song started with an almost drone, before building and building to a crescendo. Smith’s vocals only added to the hypnotic sound, with shrieks, oohs and other noises coming as much as lyrics, but it only made it even more gripping. A particular favourite of mine was ‘Facing’, one of the single releases off their upcoming second album ‘Signs’ due out on October 27th. The way their sound filled the room, the crowd were all transfixed on the stage, you could have been mistaken for thinking that this band was headlining, but it wouldn’t be out of the question that this band could go on to do that in future.
Up next was Brighton band Lambrini Girls, a band although near the start of their careers, already has a unbeatable reputation for raucous live show. For anyone who had never heard of Lambrini Girls before, or at least had no clue what their live shows transcend into, this could have come as a bit of a shock. Especially by their second song when both guitarist and lead vocalist Phoebe and bassist Lily were both performing from the centre of the crowd. This is pretty much where they spent most of the set. This isn’t just any riotous punk show, it’s also a Lambrini Girls safe space, and could also be portrayed as some performance art. A lot of shows often come with some level of audience participation, however this usually involves singing a chorus back or doing a bit of call and response, however Lambrini Girls really take this to the next level. During ‘Help Me I’m Gay’, Phoebe is sitting on a willing crowd members shoulders, playing guitar, whilst singing into a microphone being held by another member of the crowd. Their set over ran, but no one seemed to care as they worked their way through their setlist, with each song coming with its own important meaning to both the band and the crowd. ‘TERF Wars’ is a song about trans inclusion, and a big f*ck you to transphobes like JK Rowling, whilst ‘Boy in the Band’ highlighted the issues of sexual assault and offenders in the music industry. They are not just creating a name for themselves, but also a community within the music industry and I cannot stress how quickly I will be buying tickets to their next headline shows.
There was no doubt that both supports had got the crowd going and ready for Pigs x7. The place was electric, waiting for the band to take to the stage. They kicked off the show with the loud and fast-paced ‘Mr Medicine’ The band took no warming up, and were already rocking from the first note, as lead singer Matthew Baty marched around the stage. “Finally we are in touching distance of this band being taken seriously in the music industry’ Peaty said to a packed out Kentish Town. “You are here to see the world’s best value holographic show”, Baty joked with the crowd. That was one of the only rests for the crowd in an otherwise fast paced and thunderous rock show. The energy on stage was matched by the crowd, as crowd surfers were having to be continuously carried over the barrier by security, It was Baty’s energy that impressed me the most though, with him marching around the stage, throwing his around, jumping up and down, almost like he had turned up to a rock themed zumba class. Keeping the intensity up throughout the set was no mean feat, and to do this all whilst singing was unbelievable. As they worked through their setlist, with absolutely no filler to be seen, and bringing songs from all four of their albums, the energy across the entire venue was still rocking. Part way through the set, Pigs x7 were joined by ‘Bonnacons of Doom’ lead singer Katie Smith, who took her place at the front, whilst Baty went and stood to the side, and the collaboration was sensational, Smith’s vocals, like during their set, were enchanting and hypnotic, whilst the thumping basslines and guitar riffs continued from the rest of Pigs x7.
They ended the set with the 10 minute metal hit ‘A66’ which builds up and breaks down with such intricacy whilst also maintaining the incredible energy the band have had during the set. As the evening drew to a close, the fans piled into the street outside the venue, with most looking relieved to give some respite to their ears and also cool down from the furnace that Kentish Town had become. This might have been their biggest London show to date, but I think there is still a lot more to come from Pigs x7.