Hinds are a live band. That much is clear, despite their excellent debut which exceeded our party-rock expectations for something with so many dimensions. But when they play live, their clumsy rock becomes explosive and sounds even bigger than small-venue ambitions. Take ‘Warning With The Curling’, which has never properly been released but shows an entirely different side of Hinds, changing up tempo at the drop of a hat and turns into a psychedelic stoner-jam which starts off the band on a strange but pleasantly surprising note. Plus, you can never have too many kazoo solos and it’s very much a dying art – bring the kazoos, more please. Fan favourite ‘Trippy Gum’, which didn’t make the album, follows and sets the tune of the night for Madrid party rock, which is exactly what Hinds deliver after fine-tuning their style and polishing up on the road.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any spontaneous moments left for Hinds. At one point, Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perotte (both guitar and vocals) erupt into a story about being in a cab and mistaking ‘I’m so horny’ for ‘I’m so honey’ and singing it out as loud as possible. Stage invasions, a typical feature of a Hinds show, are still happening despite the band growing in popularity and venue size, with bassist Ade Martin and her super-high bass managing to pull off her playing whilst someone puts their arm around her and begins swaying. The new tracks, such as ‘Walking Home’ and ‘Warts’ receive just as much of a response as old favourites and also show Hinds’ songwriting has become even stronger since they started playing ramshackle indie-rock.
However, it’s the last half of the show that really picks up. ‘Chili Town’, ‘Bamboo’, ‘San Diego’, ‘Garden’, ‘Castigadas en el Granero’ and the encore of ‘Davey Crockett’ all come thick and fast, with ‘Bamboo’ still receiving the best response and shouts of ‘I want you to call me by my name when I’m lying on your bed’ from the very start. Still, it doesn’t get much better when ‘Davey Crockett’, originally a cover, incites shouts of ‘Gabba gabba hey’. Hinds have the ability to play larger venues, and they arguably will, but they work best when they have a small audience to connect with via call-and-response and those stage invasions. The only problem with the gig was there was about 5 metres squared of dancers in the centre and the rest of the audience mostly stayed very still, with the band even saying ‘You’re very quiet for a university town’ early on in the gig. However, by the end, the dancing space had considerably expanded, no doubt from the start of ‘Bamboo’. Blame the old people, I guess.