Fresh off a tour around Europe with Kasabian (one can only imagine…) and on the back of their latest record ‘Blood’, Pulled Apart By Horses are currently finishing up a run of UK shows that culminates in London, at Heaven this Friday. The start of the tour began last week at the other end of the country – Up North in Manchester; closer to home for the lads from Leeds.
Support came in the form of Menace Beach – another Leeds band who were a perfect accompaniment. A few songs in, my buddy said that “you knew what they sounded like as soon as you saw them” which is hilariously spot on. Backed by a very 90’s looking band, It would be a cliché to say the front man was channelling Kurt Cobain (because I wouldn’t say he was), but you could be mistaken for thinking so, what with his baggy flannel shirt and long dip-dyed blonde locks. I would put him more in the Spicoli camp from Fast Times At Ridgemont High, if we were going to be more accurate. Anyway….The look isn’t the riding factor here, and what mattered was their great sound – An equal blend of fuzzy grunge and garage rock, all mixed up into a positively 90’s alt sound. It was really great. I’ve heard the name many times before, so I was happy to finally get to see them. Their debut full length comes out at the beginning of next year, and I for one am pretty stoked.
The familiar intro for ‘Hot Squash’ kicked things off after a short break, and the Pulled Apart By Horses crew arrived on stage to rapturous applause. This was the first single taken from their new record, and it’s an absolute scream. The heavy as fuck riff that pulsates through the last minute of the track is pure head banging glory, and the crowd lapped it up. Three tunes in came ‘V.E.N.O.M’ and a mad rush to the pit. Generally, I’m not a pit goer, but that breakdown is just so fucking good. So I came out of semi-retirement and got stuck in (losing my hat instantly…) and it’s here where I spent the rest of the evening. I forgot how fun it is being in a pit at shows, and got much amusement out of a pissed-up, leather-clad geezer losing both his hat and glasses instantly at the start of another song.
This was my first time seeing PABH live, and I’m chuffed I finally got the chance. I was all set to catch them at Southsea Fest a few months back, but with them being the last band on, the massive queue outside the venue stretched down the street, which put an end to that… The show was pretty much a highlight reel, and they played a good range of stuff from across their three albums. Particular highlights included ‘Lizard Baby’ and ‘Medium Rare’ taken from the new record, as well as older tracks ‘The Crapsons’ (which I’m even more fond of now that I know it’s an homage to the Zelda games!) and ‘Some Mothers’
The night was filled with sing-alongs and crowd surfing, and at one point frontman Tom was pretty much conjoined with another crowd-surfer. It was pretty sick. It’s always good to be part of a crowd that are up for having a good time and enjoying themselves, and this was totally that. No pretentious pricks or ‘ard lads looking for a fight.
The last three songs are devoted to their self-titled debut record, with a high octane ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ leading us up to the encore, and then crowd favourite ‘Yeah Buddy’ and ‘Den Horn’ sending us home. Riffy as fuck and full on pounding throughout the evening; I loved it.
The time flew by, and the crowd were pretty sick throughout. I spent most of the gig in the pit, which is something I’ve not done in a while. Only certain bands get the privilege… I would’ve liked to have heard ‘Epic Myth’, as that’s fast become one of my favourites from Tough Love, but it’s not something that I’d noticed until leaving the venue.
I’m sad that I missed out on the early days of Pulled Apart By Horses, as I’ve heard these shows were insane, but it’s clear that they’ve matured into a full on beastly live band. It’s no surprise that Blood was a Top 40 record, or that they’ve just been on tour with Kasabian; in 2015, Pulled Apart By Horses look set to make that next step into becoming household names. Watch this space.