PINS + Baby In Vain + Yassassin @ Broadcast, Glasgow 14th April 2017
An opportunity to see one of the finest all-female British indie rock bands around at present - playing at the intimate, boldly red and purple-illuminated basement venue known as Broadcast - is one hard to justify passing up. With their recent Aggrophobe collaboration with Iggy Pop taking them to a wider level of notoriety, one can only hope they don’t lose the heady rush of vigour and refreshing lack of arrogance towards their audience in the process.
The first support band was Yassassin from London. An all-female punk/riot grrrl-influenced ensemble of five who were brought together just one year ago from now, their material isn’t the most innovative around. However, on stage last night they possessed a natural, evident chemistry and energy that made it almost impossible to avoid being swept along with them in a whirlpool of tiger-like feminine guitar mayhem and discordant vocals. They clearly have a certain elusive, bouncy spark and tangible sense of pure female comradeship that gives one the sense that big things are somewhere ahead of them. It just feels like they really should, and deserve, to be together as a colourful noise-producing unit.
They were followed by Baby In Vain, a trio from Denmark. Lola Hammerlich’s vocals sounded rather too much like Courtney Love’s guttural groanings on Hole’s Teenage Whore album, and as such they just weren’t my thing. The feeling I got from fellow gig-goers was that they stand as a “love or hate” proposition.
It was time for headliners PINS to take, and frankly own, the stage. Last night they were a supremely confident and vibrant band delivering a set of fabulous material, including the entirety of their Bad Thing EP plus a few older favourites such as Girls Like Us. While it was a shame (though not a surprise) that we didn’t get Michigan’s most esteemed former resident Iggy Pop popping up on this diminutive Glasgow stage, bassist Anna Donigan more than ably filled in. The best thing about the night however was how the band (in particular vocalist Faith Holgate) made maximum use of Broadcast’s intimate environs and forced proximity to the audience to fully interact with them. Faith stepped off stage to be amongst us and, for an barnstorming encore, allowed us the privilege of coming on stage to dance with her and her cohorts. Yes, I will freely admit that I did join in the fun. Yes, it was the best gig I’ve been to for some time. There are few bands that behave towards the audience with a comparable level of rapport. I hope they don’t lose too much of it as (fingers crossed) the venues get larger.