LIVE: Pulled Apart By Horses – Sound Control, Manchester 06/04/17
It’s a 6.30pm early start at Sound Control tonight, with the former music shop cramming in a trio of exciting British talent topped off by the return of Leeds rockers Pulled Apart By Horses.
It’s looking a little sparse crowd-wise as London’s Thee MVPs kick things off soon after doors open, but their garage punk pop tunes get a few interested heads nodding as they rattle through their set. Clad in matching rainbow guitar straps, the band are an engaging proposition, with bassist Josefine Jonsson’s hypnotic stare the centrepoint to which guitarist/vocalists Charlie Wyatt and Alex Ives throw themselves around. A couple of mid-set riffy numbers help to mix things up, and by the end of this outing it’s clear they’re ones to watch.
Tigercub are up next and the Brighton three-piece seem to have a few old friends in attendance judging by the surge towards the stage and accompanying cheer. Their battering ram of 90s influenced grungy tunes is a contrast to the fast paced openers, but this doesn’t make them any less energetic. Bassist Jimi is fully mid-90s Andy Cairns with an excellent tache and matching facial contortions, while the towering Jamie hides somewhat (and somehow) in the shadows. The real star of the show though is drummer James, who plays with such an intensity you expect heat vision to cause his snare to burst into flames at any moment. Their set is punctuated by songs akin to some of Alice In Chains’ darker, more introspective work, making the band a mesmerising proposition.
Having recently released fourth album The Haze, it’s no surprise that Pulled Apart By Horses open with its title track, but what is surprising is the extra intensity and heaviness that comes across in the live arena. It’s a fire that keeps burning throughout the following The Big What If and stretches out into the crowd, as proven by a mildly concerned tour manager being forced to ask over-enthusiastic crowd surfers to get down during I Punched A Lion In The Throat.
It’s not long before guitarist James Brown has his top off and new drummer Tommy Davidson shows he’s slotted in effortlessly, hammering all kinds of hell out of his kit to old favourite Lizard Baby and new tune Flash Lads alike, and it’s good to see that the raucous show that PABH always used to be known for is still very much alive and kicking in 2017. On-stage banter may be kept to a minimum tonight, but the intensity of the music doesn’t let up, and neither do Tom Hudson’s screams as he absolutely powers through Back To The Fuck Yeah. Even the slower-paced Lamping sounds pretty magnificent tonight as sporadic moshpits break out ahead of a beautifully chaotic cover of Helter Skelter, which PABH make sound like one of their own songs.
Finishing their set with a glorious V.E.N.O.M. and High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive after less than an hour (and a good 20 minutes before the early 10pm curfew), it’s a shame not to get more from PABH, but tonight has still gone a long way to proving there’s a plethora of exciting young talent out there in a more than healthy British rock scene.