Belgrave Music Hall, in Leeds, wasn’t quite as densely populated as I expected it to be for the arrival of PINS and their support act Cowtown. Despite the venue not quite being at capacity there was a great atmosphere and high level of anticipation within the room.
The evening began with a scintillating display from Leeds based Cowtown. Keyboard player and singer Hilary Cowtown alongside guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Nash, backed by drummer Dave Shields provided relentless energy and stimulating riffs. The velocity at which they play their instruments make you really appreciate what fine, accomplished, musicians they are as they hammer out their intricate, blistering, and funky tracks.
Cowtown created a frenzied atmosphere in the room, which PINS thoroughly capitalized on. They entered the stage through heavy smoke, all dressed in mixtures of black and sparkling silver, before they opened with “Trouble”. PINS have always been an incredibly cool looking, and sounding, band but their new coordinated uniforms hint towards their slight change in musical style. They are darker, more seething, with a harder edge and also a shining party element.
As the smoke build so does the intensity of their powerful performance. They are now an established act and their commanding performance only reinforces that fact. Each track perfectly displays either their dark, simmering, attitude or their wild, energetic, zest. Their masterful set was atmospheric, anthemic, and empowering throughout, but especially during “Serve The Rich”. As well as playing their current EP and single PINS showcased some forthcoming material. One of these new tracks, “Hot Slick”, struck a style that was exactly halfway between Joy Division and New Order, but they didn’t treat us to their cover of Joy Division classic “Dead Souls” tonight.
The stand out moment from a set full of highlights was another new track, “If I Was”. The punchy, angst ridden, delivery of the lyrics, which possibly contained a strong feminist message, combined with instrumentation that menacingly builds culminated in an explosive display, and one that had the crowd enthusiastically jumping around.