Live at The Church, Leeds 29th November 2018
The Church, up by Leeds University was bursting tonight, packed with an overwhelmingly young and female audience, ready for a good time and there was some quality jumping up and down to come, fuelled by enthusiastic drinking.
Madrid’s Hinds have two albums tucked in their crop-tops and, they say, another on the way. Sampling a quality slice of highlights from both, they jangled and leapt into an enthusiastic fervour. Strangely more polished than their excellent 2016 debut, which was a fuzzed jangle, tinny and on the edge of staying in tune. Much as that album was more crafted than it seemed and held the spirit of Yo La Tengo, this appears loose but is artfully presented. These are polished through many many shows and the girls have worked up some moves and poses, yet they let themselves play it loose. Just look at those photographs; mostly blurred – a band having a good time.
They seem to be having a great time and many smiles and laughs are exchanged as they scoot about the stage and lock into each others’ lines. This seems like a band that still enjoy each other and are relaxed. Carrying the DIY spirit of the original British Punk but unafraid to exploit the Spice Girls factor, the show is pure fun. Plenty of simple tunes, a shift from driving rock to jangling shambling anthems like San Diego to the chunky yet laid back Garden to the sunny and relaxed Easy. Naturally, some of the slower pieces go to the wall tonight.
They chat and joke, introducing songs and sharing Leeds tips as well as the background to some songs like Tester. The vibe is total garage band: enthusiastic amateurs, out on the road for the fun of it and the love of simple rock and roll. The evidence convicts them – this is the real deal and, whilst not the saviours of rock and roll or even strikingly new, this is what keeps music alive – spirit and laughs. Relaxed but bursting with excitement. Summer on a rainy day.
I’m delighted by the cover of The Clash’s Spanish Bombs, which is in no way derivative in style and the gig hots up with members of the band disappearing into the crowd for a mosh before the double-headed closers of big favourites Bamboo and I’ll Be Your Man.
Happy and foot-sore people straggle to the door.