I’d spent most of the past week reliving that incredible Savages gig at UEA (a week on I still feel it’s one of the greatest gigs I’ve ever been to in my 35 years of attending concerts) so as I headed to the Arts Centre on a bitterly cold Tuesday night I was just in the mood for some punky spirit and loud guitars and that’s exactly what I got.
The NAC felt pretty much full and must have been as near as dammit a sell out for the latest offering from the brilliant Pony Up. It’s worth mentioning too that the Tilting Sky gig just up the road in the Bicycle Shop was also sold out for Lee Gordon, Rory Hill, and Ginny Dix.
In contrast to the freezing temperatures outside, the NAC was as warm as toast inside and PINS were soundchecking as I arrived and sounding really promising. I didn’t want to miss this so secured a decent vantage point before they came onstage shortly after 8pm. There was a real sense of occasion here and the atmosphere was great with super lighting once again at the Arts Centre, and a blue tinged smokey stage they had me hook, line and sinker before the end of the first song. A terrific sound and a great live band from the PINS girls, with killer hooks, harmonies and melodies, lead vocalist Faith totally commands the stage, and indeed the floor as she jumped down in front of the crush barrier. Fast and loud underpinned by delicious, heavy drums and bass it was clear to see why they have such a strong following loved equally by the girls and the boys in the audience. They don’t seem to have a weak song in their repertoire and set the bar very high for the night with a blistering and energetic set that even featured a nod to fellow Mancunian legends Joy Division with a magnificent Dead Souls cover. I love PINS, I bought their album (beautiful clear vinyl too!) and can’t wait to see them again, I hope it won’t be long before they return, indeed it was hinted at as I was getting my record signed at the end 🙂
Honeyblood were in Norwich last year, at the Mash Tun for NS&V but I obviously had the usual gig clash and missed them so this was my first taste of the Honeyblood live show, and speaking to friends beforehand who had seen them before I knew we were in for a treat. A sparse stage set up for a big sound and super projections, this duo of Stina (vocals and guitar) and Cat (drums and vocals) were clearly adored with the floor full before they came onstage. There was a sense of occasion with a good light show and a powerful start whilst inbetween songs they were full of Glaswegian charm, bantering with the crowd and Cat even sharing the peculiar coctail at the request of a curious crowd member. Sure enough the dancing grew and grew and there was a proper mosh-pit going on, it was great fun. Dispensing with the encore tradition at the end they just stayed where they were and asked “Should we just play a couple more instead of doing that ‘walking off behind a curtain and coming back on again’ thing?” The reply was predictably noisy and affirmative.
Much as I loved Honeyblood too – they were excellent and had powerful, melodic and memorable songs – it was their “tour sisters” PINS that made the biggest impression on me on this occasion, they totally blew me away with their energy, spirit, power and brilliant songs. I didn’t want their set to end and adored every moment of it. I will probably get Honeyblood’s Babes Never Die album at some point soon but there was no way I was going to go home from here without the PINS record under my arm.
A fine, fine gig from two great bands who provided the perfect tonic for me.
Big thanks to Pony Up, Norwich Arts Centre, Honeyblood, and PINS
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