February 24th – The Fleece

Bristol in the depths of winter is a long way from sunny Spain, and don’t Madrid based indie-garage band Hinds know it. “We played for the BBC 6 Music Festival the other, making this the first time we’ve played the same city on the same tour!” they tell the crowd, as excitable as ever.

Not only that, but if you count the Rise instore they did as well, it’s the third gig they’ve played in our city in February. The dark depths of the Fleece is a long way away from the O2’s massive stage, but they let us into a little secret, “The O2 show was a little… flat. Whether it was us or whatever, we don’t know…Let’s make this show way better!”

Not having been at the BBC 6 festival gig, I can’t say whether it was better or worse, but it would be pretty hard to have been any better. They’re a band that have made their name playing raucous live shows, and they sure didn’t disappoint. The purposely sloppy harmonies of their record are surprisingly slick, the drawled dual vocals of ‘Garden’ slipping off each other, both messy and precise at the same time.

Whilst the crowd are at their most boisterous, singing along most loudly when the band are playing their faster songs, their strength live is their fantastic ability to alter their tempo and dynamics so much, and with such great impact. Yes, their songs can often be little more than a very well written garage-punk song, but the bands obviously strong, almost telepathic connection allows them to mess around with the songs, as they make us wait for choruses and whispered vocals.

‘Chili Town’, played at twice the speed as on the record, had the band bouncing off each other on stage, massive grins on their faces. They don’t take themselves too seriously, grinning throughout, and they have more fun than the audience at times. Not that I’m belittling the audience’s own involvement (a core of the crowd constantly bounced up and down), but it seems that the novelty of playing to sold out venues hasn’t yet worn off on Hinds

Their older songs are still the ones that get the crowd going the most, ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Castigadas En El Granero’ in particular impressing, but it was great to see their new material, as well as the cover they played, slipping in seamlessly. It’s a shame really that we won’t seeing them again this month.

Check out ‘Chili Town’ right here: