Hinds at Liverpool Arts Club
Hinds have a bit of a mixed reputation in their home country. While many have got a kick out of watching a Spanish band garner such wide international regard, their stratospheric rise to fame has also made them an object of distrust.
Their recognition by Burger Records, for one thing, recast them from scruffy local garage band to Pitchfork darlings, as comfortable cruising LA as the streets of Malasaña – and not everybody buys it. “I don’t know which is worse,” sniffs one Spanish blog, “this image they have of scrubbed-up hipsters dropping by for a beer, or the way they sing and play.”
The way they sing and play is sloppy for sure; the vocals shrill, the melodies dishevelled. But whether you find their spontaneity forced or the real thing, if you don’t enjoy tonight’s show then you have no heart. Carlotta Cosials is someone who never seems to have an off day, and she spends the night grinning and laughing non-stop. Meanwhile bandmate Ana Perrote has to dump her guitar on the floor now and then, just to concentrate more fully on dancing. With abundant ponytails in scrunchies and the kind of low-key, 90s-referencing outfits which inflame those so desperate to write the band off as hipsters, any naysaying just feels a bit beside the point here.
We could tell you that they played an electrifying rendition of this one song, or that another song segued seamlessly into another, but with Hinds, the appeal lies less with individual compositions and more with the whole experience of watching this troupe of firecrackers fling themselves at their performance. “WE CAME HERE TO ROCK” a banner screams behind them. Yes, it’s a bit silly. But so is rock.
There’s a spirited performance of Spanish Bombs, which, sorry for the heresy, is somehow an improvement on Joe Strummer’s slobbery vocal. Tester and The Club also go down a storm, and the band look delighted as at least two men attempt to crowd surf, their long limbs languorously slicing across the throng.
When the set finishes, Hinds grab each other for hugs as Always Look On The Bright Side of Life blasts from the speakers, then pogo across the stage, still entwined, as their friends snap pictures from the side of the stage. Really, if you hate this band, you’re wasting your energy.
2019. An adapted version of this review appeared on Getintothis.