PINS #4 - Say To Me / Live at the Soup Kitchen

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It's always the live arena that changes a band from a band I like to a band I really like and it's normally at the first attempt where I get all puppy-eyed and then spend the next few weeks praising said band to anyone who'll listen (or not in some cases), with Manchester quartet PINS however, it was actually the second time. Sure I lapped up their stunning debut track "Eleventh Hour" just as quickly as anyone else when it was released back in April which was quickly followed by "Shoot You" and the subsequent lead track to their debut EP "LuvU4Lyf" which hinted at fulfilling the buzz and seemingly endless reams of superlatives thrown at the band almost since day one. Yet it was in a small, dimly lit basement in their home-town that the word promising was firmly crossed out in favour of the some a little more accurate, 'fucking amazing'.

My first live encounter with PINS was back in May at The Great Escape, it was an awkward audience seemingly mainly full of industry types and my annoyance with a particularly inebriated punter got the better of me (though I'm hardly one to talk, having being 'primed' on the ale on offer in Manchester for hours before my second viewing of the band last Saturday), it changed that TGE gig from potentially great to just good, but after a couple of songs of their set in the cellar of a Soup Kitchen it was instantly clear that this is a band that have grown, their dark, echoey guitars and throbbing bass-lines penetrated the air with spellbinding power; raw and explosive Faith Holgate is a compelling front woman, commanding your attention whilst the rhythmic backbone of their tracks exhilarate a keen Saturday night crowd.

The set-list is a potent combination, from the sharp urgency of "Shoot Me" to the slower, sprawling menace of "You Don't Need To Be" while the EP's title track "LuvU4Lyf" equally stands out, as does "Say to Me", which after a couple of false starts swaggers with a convincing moody, aggression. Though it's the new material which is getting me most excited (sorry no titles), showing growth, experimentation and improvement the 45 minute set is most definitely not the last time I'll be seeing Pins. In fact, I've already booked up two more gigs, at London's Sebright Arms next week (24th - tickets) and in Brighton on November 8th, supporting the equally amazing Savages (tickets).

To accompany the release of their LuvU4Lyf EP the band have released a sultry, flour play-fighting led video to the wonderful "Say to Me" which comes with a warning to those of you who aren't too fond of flashing imagery.