PEACE AND LOVE BARBERSHOP MUHAMMAD ALI/PINS. Oslo,Hackney. 23rd September 2015.

24 09 2015

For the sixth time last night I saw Pins, of course they get better each time but let’s talk about the support act first because they were nothing short of brilliant.

Peace And Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali (named after a shop in Manchester, I advise you to go in) are fronted by Mark who is also in Brown Brogues. PALBMA are just as loud as Brown Brogues which I am really happy about. I’ve written about the band before, but to write about their live set is a different experience. So the term “cool” is fucking redundant and is always lame to call someone that, but these guys are cool. They’ve got something about them that just makes you want to listen to them non stop. I’ve always got wandering eyes but during their set all I could do was stare and take in how great they are. If their bassist Kim doesn’t leave you wishing you were as effortlessly cool as her or wish you could play bass, then go get your head checked.  It’s only up for another 3 weeks, but you can listen to their Marc Riley set here:
Mark holds the guitar in a charming mad man kind of way, as if he’s got a machine gun and you’re not going to see tomorrow. He reminds me of Jamie Hince with how he makes his guitar sound like a weapon. This is the kind of stuff kids and adults should be indulging in. If someone can get this band back down to London soon, please do it. THe crowd seemed to love them, and it was just really refreshing to see a band so loud and wonderful have the same hook on you as the main band. Manchester is evidently the home of excellent music, and these guys are easily one of the best Manc bands around. But hey, let’s not limit ourselves- they are one of the most exciting bands around and their recent set on Marc Riley’s show justifies this. Charming buggers with songs to make you deaf. I love them. I’d happily write a thousand and more words about why I love them and why they are a bloody brutal and excellent band, but you can discover that in your own time. Just don’t dilly dally you know.
And now to PINS.
Opening with Baby Bhangs, it is fairly obvious that with only 2 full length records to their name that they ooze the confidence that most bands well into their career can’t muster. It is always a delight watching PINS live because they make you feel like you’ve joined a gang. A lovely gang. For me I just love how Lois sings every word to the crowd as if she’s a fan, she makes you sing a little louder. And yes, my throat is sore today. They brought Say To Me out last night which for me was the highlight. I’ve always had a thing for that song, and to see it live was a proper treat. The little jam at the end of Dazed By You could move the most rigid, and it’s again enough to make someone want to start a band. My only gripe about the gig is the amount of guys at the front who are old enough to be their dads who think it is okay to take photos and zoom in on the bands legs. Why would you do that? We can see you, assclown.
Of course during Girls Like Us causes a stage invasion. Faith reaches out to a guy in the crowd who she handed a balloon to earlier and brings him on stage closely followed by others. The delicate way in which she reaches out and brings people on stage is like watching a timid cat slowly let you get near them. This band has exactly what it takes to be a huge influential role in music and after seeing them last nights, I reckon they’re super close to doing just that. The show felt like a massive party with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun fused into Girls Like Us and their take on Hybrid Moments by Misfits. I just didn’t want it to end.
They really do get better with each show I’ve been to, and London crowds seem to idolise them. Maybe they also realise that the North is far superior in all ways. I think what makes PINS shows so enjoyable is that they obviously love being on stage, and their songs just sound bigger and better when played to an adoring crowd. Got It Bad is one of Wilds Nights slower moments, but Sophie beats the shit out of the drums on stage which takes the song some place else. It’s a gorgeous declaration of love much like Dazed By You.
By rights they should be playing bigger venues, the songs are powerful enough as are they. I’ve seen them support and I’ve seen them headline, and each set is louder and braver than the last. The confidence in all of them is really great to see. They’ve got a solid sound on Wild Nights (they did on Girls Like Us also) but they’re obviously a band that aren’t going to make the same record over and over, and I think that’s why people are into them. You can see exactly why they’re on Bella Union. No other label would be good enough.
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