PINS – Oslo, Hackney, 23rd September 2015 1

PINS – Oslo, Hackney, 23rd September 2015

Recently illuminated for a larger audience thanks to their stellar series of support slots with the legendary Sleater Kinney, PINS bring the whirlwind punk-power of the recently released ‘Wild Nights’ album to East London for a night of frenetic, fan-friendly celebration.

With a back wall draped in the ‘Wild Nights’ logo and mic stands adorned with deliciously shiny balloons (balloons are great, deal with it), singer Faith Holgate leads her troupe on-stage, exploding into action with a furious rendition of ‘Baby Bhangs’.
What’s immediately apparent is that not only are PINS a true rush o’ punk blood to the head but that their songs straddle the canyon between unfettered gut-shot emotion and carefully plucked tunefulness. Anna Donigan’s relentless but beautifully harmonious bass playing typifies this approach – her direct, tingling basslines snaking through Sophie Galpin’s smart, punchy drum parts to leave an impression of musical grace and insight combined with fuck-you primal power.

Multi-instrumentalist Kyoko Swann at first adds texture and depth with atmospheric keyboard work, later upfront adding to the guitar clamour towards the set’s end.

Dropping the mighty ‘Young Girls’ early on may seem a strange choice but its anthemic screw-the-world hopefulness lights up the room with bitter joy.

“What will we do when our dreams come true / Young girls?” asks Faith over the ringing surf guitar drone of Lois McDonald (who might be the most punk rock guitarist around right now – a snarling, glammed up scream-along-to-the-lyrics-even-without-a-mic caller of ‘1-2-3-4’s ?…YES!) – and lines like “Wouldn’t it be fun to kiss everyone?” offer a sneaky faux-naivety that also forms a part of PINS’ brilliant collective persona.
Faith offers a silver heart balloon to an enthusiastic green haired fan as the rock n’ roll continues, bidding those who wish to dance to the front of the stage. Eventually, during a cataclysmic ‘Girls Like Us’ Faith will take a dozen or more fans by the hand and bring them onstage to mingle with the band as they hit the Cyndi Lauper-referencing climax. It’s shambolic; a celebration of the band’s twin tenets of empowerment and flat out fucked fun.

Faith eventually retreats to the relative safety of the crowd to continue singing as drunkenness gets the better of some of the on-stage fans (here’s hoping those guitar pedals made it out alive) but there’s no awkwardness or recrimination about the situation – it’s a party thrown by the band for everyone to join and enjoy.

A rampant cover of The Misfits‘Hybrid Moments’ fits perfectly in to this climactic moment.

Elsewhere in the set we find standouts like ‘Got It Bad’Spiritualised channelling the Ronettes if you fancy – and the drugged out, bleary-eyed shrug of ‘Molly’“You look so good when you’re sad / You look so good when you’re mad”; plaintive, simple and true.

Reaching back to 2013’s ‘Girls Like Us’ album we get the Velvet Underground sex of ‘I Want It All’ “What I do to him / He does to me” intones Faith, then “I want it all / Or nothing at all” as guitars squall, voices chant – a 2 and a half minute squealing snarl.

We also get the 2012 debut song ‘LUVU4LYF’ with its tribal rhythm, hypnotic backing vocals and utterly punishing guitar crunch – “I would die for you and I love you for life” – it doesn’t get much more hardcore than that.

PINS inhabit a place where New York Dolls rub their leather-clad bodies against Kevin Shields’ vibrating guitar; where Savages dance rock n’ roll with the Ramones and Postcard pop clashes with Courtney Love’s charged, powerful femininity.

They encore with the near-shoegaze growl of ‘House Of Love’ that just fucking ROARS – it’s rebellion, it’s rock n’ roll, it’s obsession and sex and degeneracy and dedication and all the things that make up The Best Bands. PINS are pretty high up on that list right now and as Faith raises her glass of red to the crowd at the show’s conclusion she’s not only acknowledging the connection they have with their dedicated audience but also foreshadowing the celebration of a band destined to continue down a path of ragged, righteous glory.

Read a new interview with PINS’ vocalist Faith here:

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