PINS: Sebright Arms, London – live reviewPINS, Bird & Chateau
Sebright Arms, London
24th Nov 2012

PINS have been on a lot of radars throughout 2012 after their first single ‘Eleventh Hour’ was released in April. It was a genuinely brilliant intro to the group, and when the double A side ‘Shoot You’ followed shortly after, it was obvious that PINS were going to be one of ‘the’ bands of 2012. They’ve recently been touring the UK & Louder Than War had a reporter at the closing London date.

We caught them six dates into their current UK tour at the Sebright Arms in East London. In their own words this tour has already been “a lot of fun” and the band look relaxed ahead of their fifth visit to the Capital. Even before they’ve taken to the stage, Pins are a band that draw your attention. There is symmetry with singer Faith Holgate and drummer Lara Williams flanked by blondes (guitarist Anna MacDonald and bassist Anna Donigan) either side, both of whom could be the centre piece of any other group. It portrays a unique synergy for a band that has been together for such a short space of time. Like the most important groups, there’s a genuine ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ vibe you get not only on stage but when sitting down with them for a chat before their show. They have a charisma and self-belief that you sometimes have to work hard to find in young groups.

Live, Pins create a tense atmosphere that is wound tighter with every song. There are times when it feels as much of a performance art piece as it does a conventional gig – which is something mirrored within a group of new bands emanating from PINS home town. “Manchester is a really exciting place at the moment,” said Lois MacDonald, “There seems to be loads of artists doing these really exciting and different ‘DIY’ things, and it’s not just bands – promoters as well.” With support coming from two other North West bands, Bird and Chateux, all three acts have a sound that seems destined for bigger venues.

On record, songs like ‘Say To Me and ‘LUVU4LYF’ sound glazed with a melancholic-film noir-seductive tone, but live in a shallow venue such as the Sebright Arms with the rhythm section literally shaking the room and the vocals pouring out over the top, these songs take a totally new direction. In a 13 song set, there’s clearly enough quality for an album but the band is taking it in their stride “We’re planning an album, but nothing’s set in stone. We’re just having fun trying out the songs and seeing which are our favourites that we would like to put on a record”.

PINS – SAY TO ME from PINS on Vimeo.

Remaining elusive yet ever present through a constant stream of touring and releases, Pins have managed to avoid the treadmill trappings of a new band, playing unusual venues (two days after Sebright Arms, the band will play in an old converted church in Paris) and leaving their future ambitions open. They’ll play with 2:54 at the end of this month and have ambitions to play, as they described rather cryptically, “further afield”.

As relentlessly intense and dramatic as their performance was, there is still an undercurrent of total coolness in everything they do. The nonchalance of a band that know they’ve discovered something special is clear to see, and as an admission of this, set closer “The Darkest Day” sees Faith repeat the line “It hit me so suddenly” which is probably true of everyone in the room, as it will be the first time you come into contact with Pins.

All words by Tom Carter. This is Tom’s first article for us.

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