PINS stature as artists has grown exponentially since I first saw them in Summer 2012. Back then, I watched them in the same week as I did the (very much more) vaunted Savages and some self-promoting boys called Palma Violets. Although it’s not a competition – oh alright, who are we kidding – when I saw them I went round telling people: forget the rest, I’ve seen the future and its name is PINS.
I’ve only seen them once since (shame on me) and I came away just as convinced. The album came out and is a minor punk masterpiece. When I say I’d seen them only once, if you count as fellow gig-goers, you can add a good number to that, they’re forever in the front corner at Manchester gigs. These girls love music and it shows.
So, roll forward a year or more, to a Saturday night in the Deaf Institute. As an American friend enthuses – that glitter ball, that wall paper! In my view, what a sweaty little cauldron of connection to the audience; the sold out, tightly packed floor, crowd stacked up the back wall, hanging over the stage from the gallery.
And it suited them well. Very much more polished than I’d remembered, but still as punk as fuck. The constant playing has further tightened an always taut band. They stand shoulder to shoulder as a four piece, but still Faith can’t avoid being the front-woman. It was polished, no abandoned-outre histrionics here, but then again, this band have always had an iron clad and determined view of where they want to be.
Thirteen brilliant songs, no encore. It was somehow fitting that they closed with ‘Girls Like Us’ which shares a name and a sensibility with the otherwise unrelated song by the Julie Ruin, Kathleen Hanna’s band of the moment. Without coming out with any mystic clap-trap about carrying some R-grrl torch, it’s a nice connection.
Still convinced that I’ve seen the future? Fuck yeah!