Sometimes it helps to believe that being in a band is the best fun ever. It’s a trick that Manchester’s Pins pull off effortlessly every time, comfortably selling out the Albert tonight for their first Brighton show since last year’s bustling Great Escape triumph. ‘Wild Nights’, the garage gang’s sparkling second album, still hasn’t quite broken them through to bigger crowds though, and tonight’s show reaffirms our hunch that lots of people are missing out on what could be their favourite band.
There’s a sprawling bunch of teenagers filling out the crowd this evening, with a hardcore contingent of young women beckoned down the front to dance by Pins’ singer and guitarist Faith Holgate. ‘Molly’ is a slow burning starter but ‘Young Girls’ picks things up, a whooping song of suburban hope and adolescent wonder. “What will we do when our dreams come true?” Holgate repeats wistfully, her yearning already coloured by regret.
Drawing from both their albums and a couple of early singles (‘Shoot You’ and ‘LUV U 4 LYF’) it’s a familiar set tonight, with the shadowy Cramps crawl of sole new song ‘Trouble’ sticking close to Pins’ recurring themes of bad boys and badder girls (“If you look for trouble/Then trouble you will find”). They’re sounding bigger and brasher than before though, Lois McDonald’s guitar crashing metallically through ‘Girls Like Us’ before bleeding into their usual rough and tumble take on ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’. ‘Mad For You’ boils with focussed intensity and the sexual charge of ‘Oh Lord’ crackles with more danger than ever.
Saving “our best dancing songs” ‘til last, Pins pile through ‘Waiting For The End’ and ‘Dazed By You’, audience bodies falling over one another at the close, before a quick call-back encore of the Misfits’ ‘Hybrid Moments’ (dedicated to loyal promoters Teen Creeps), Holgate dropping to the floor as McDonald and Kyoko Swan’s guitars do battle.
Then they’re off. The USA is calling again. America, you know what to do.
Prince Albert, Thursday 18th February 2016
Words by Stuart Huggett
Photo by Shannon Kurlander for Galore