PINS made a Good Friday great by bringing their captivating live show to a sold-out Broadcast.
It’s been another exciting twelve months in the world of Manchester five-piece PINS. This time last year they were releasing the 10″ single ‘Trouble’ for Record Store Day. Since then they’ve released a new EP – the phenomenal ‘Bad Thing’ – that included a track featuring the dulcet tones of Iggy Pop singing and narrating.
And it’s with that track – the mean and moody sounding ‘Aggrophobe’ – that they kick off tonight’s PINS party, only this time with bassist Anna Donigan performing Iggy’s spoken word part, before shifting into the title track from their EP. ‘Bad Thing’ throbs and bounces along as lead singer Faith Vern playfully sings “you say I’m bad like it’s a bad thing”. This band are just full of anthems and here is another.
New track ‘Serve The Rich’ is a stand-out track, in a set bursting with classics, with it’s funky but fierce sound. The infectious ‘All Hail’ is driven along by Sophie Galpin’s drumming so it’s a shame she’s hidden right at the back of the stage. It’s obvious the whole band are pushing themselves creatively and it’s resulted in a sound that just keeps getting richer.
Older, and ridiculously catchy, songs ‘Molly’ and ‘Young Girls’ – both taken from last album ‘Wild Nights’ – sound fuller than I’ve ever heard them, while deliciously dark and dreamy ‘Trouble’ melts over the crowd like a giant chocolate egg.
Joy Division cover ‘Dead Souls’ is simply breathtaking and I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up as Vern’s powerful vocals reverberate around the room. It’s also exciting to watch them mixing up more electronic sounds with their guitar-based rock, with guitarist Lois McDonald and Kyoko Swan on keys even switching instruments.
The set winds up to a climax with ‘Death’s Door’ and ‘If I was’ ramping up the pace before they launch into the raucous ‘LUVU4LYF’ and ‘Too Young To Die’. It’s the invitation from Vern for the girls to come to the front that heralds the start of the simply sublime ‘Girls Like Us’ and the excited fans confidently step onto the stage.
I run the risk of repeating myself when I write about this band as they are still the ultimate girl gang for me. They are like the coolest, fiercest and tightest group of friends in school – you wished you could be part of their crowd and then one day they’d smile at you and they were not only brilliant but accessible. This is PINS as they reach out to invite the girls that want to dance with them onto the stage – it’s a space that they are owning completely tonight and yet we’re all invited into it. Tonight we are part of their gang.
And that, for me, is the unique allure of PINS – they not only write rousing and clever rock songs, create a stunning image and perform engaging live shows like this – they do it all whilst making their audience feel part of their world. This is epitomised when Vern steps off the now shaky looking stage, full of the rest of the band and fans, and walks into the crowd asking “how many can we fit on?” before tearing into ‘Dazed By You’.
‘Waiting For The End’ signals the end and it comes far too soon. Having sung myself hoarse I leave Broadcast having had the ultimate Easter treat – a sweet, and wild, night with one of the best bands around.
Photos © Rhiannon Law