Hinds – Electric Brixton, London, UK (19th April 2018)

This is a home-from-homecoming party for Madrileñas Hinds, who rock through 16 tracks in just over an hour. The set showcases how serious they are about their music and about how much fun they want to have on tour. London became their home from home on 9th June 2014, when they played their fourth ever show at the Sebright Arms, a few miles across the river from tonight’s venue.

Singer-guitarist Ana Perrote has spoken before of how they were freaked out that the Sebright Arms was full of eager new fans and music industry types, drawn by the buzz of the band’s first soundcloud demo, featuring ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Trippy Gum’ and to be released that summer as the debut single ‘Demo’. “We didn’t know anybody. We didn’t know why it was sold out. Thank you London,” she told an intimate reunion gig at the Sebright Arms on 29th January this year.

Towards the end of tonight’s set, Perrote recounts the story of the four gals from Madrid who “didn’t know how the fuck to play our instruments” but who were welcomed as lo-fi DIY trailblazers by London, starting that first night at the Sebright Arms. “You made this possible. You made us possible,Perrote tells the Brixton Electric to huge applause. 

It’s a cue for Ade Martin’s booming bass intro to that debut track ‘Bamboo’, its clanking reverb guitars and bitter-sweet singalong line, “I want you to call me by name when I am lying on your bed”. The song is elemental and visceral, sparking a huge good-natured thrash that takes in virtually the whole dance floor until one of the night’s numerous mosh circles opens up to slam shut. As they chant the tune’s unique “Wababibabiraba” vocal sign-off, Hinds stand close together on stage, demonstrating their tight-knit friendship.

Their sociability gives them strength. At the start of the night, Hinds and special guests Horsey hang out together near the front of the crowd to watch first support act Baywaves, part of Madrid’s new scene. Isaac Holman from Slaves is here to see his Spanish friends. And hotly tipped London-based Spanish singer-songwriter Claudia Vega is on hand to give her long-time buddy Perrote a beautiful bouquet. Perrote carries it on stage when Hinds run on with their cans of beer, and keeps the flowers close throughout the night.

On stage, Hinds’ seriously taught musical and vocal delivery contrasts with their infectious good humour and ability to conjure a chaotic night out. Perrote introduces the last two songs of the encore by inviting everyone to a free after party at local club Dogstar. Co-singer Carlotta Cosials plays guitar behind her back as they blast out ‘New For You’, the first single from new album ‘I Don’t Run’, followed by the frenetic elegiac farewell of ‘San Diego’ to finish off the concert. Moshers finally manage to defy the security team who have spent the night clamping down on any shoulder riding and crowd surfing. 

A tumultuous ‘Davey Crockett’ is the main set’s closing number, with Baywaves joining Hinds on stage, freeing Perrote and Cosials from their guitars so they can cut shapes, make moves and throw themselves into the audience. Perrote’s epic crowd surf takes her on a return trip from the stage to the back of the pit. 

Earlier, half way through the set, Cosials begs the security team to allow the surfing — after all, this is surf rock: “Is it OK if they crowd surf? We are OK with it.” With these bouncers on guard, the type of stage invasion Hinds used to orchestrate is out of the question, but one fan manages to get on stage, run across the front and dive back into the crowd. Most of the audience are less anarchic, content to bounce and sing along to refrains like “cause I can take you dancing, use me to feel home” in ‘Garden’, the guitars churning up a messy mosh that’s wet with chucked beer and sweat on this, the hottest day of the year so far.

On new songs, when they don’t know all the words yet, the crowd bellow the bass and guitar hooks — “dah doo, dah doo” they chant to ‘Echoing My Name’. If they know the verses and the fizzing, buzzing, shiny guitar parts they sing it all, as on ‘Easy’, and then clap along to Amber Grimbergen’s big boomy drums on the third verse too. The cinematic opening guitar chords of ‘Castigadas’ triggers delirium that lasts throughout the song’s high-veolocity vocal duelling. 

The band’s evolution as composers and musicians is highlighted by newer numbers. The delicate ‘Linda’ revels in mellow bass, strumming fuzzed rhythm guitar, tinkling lead guitar and alternating/layered vocals. ‘Tester’ is a multi-paced banger, appropriately for a song that highlights the phrase: “should I’ve known before you were also banging her?” Its heaving bass-led instrumental bridge is the perfect set-up for a mosh circle to open up ahead of the final rumbustious chorus and, without time to catch breath, it’s straight into the fast-rocking ‘Rookie’, which slows down to leave Perrote and Cosials down on their knees in suitably dramatic poses. 

These new songs and the first of the encore — ‘Finally Floating’ — show how Hinds have evolved their lo-fi garage sound by experimenting with smart time-signatures and changes of pace, without diminishing their live appeal. If anything, the fresh songs are intrinsically even more crowd-pleasing than the older ones. The banner behind them says, ‘Hi, we’re Hinds. And we came here to rock’. That’s what they do.

All photos: Ian Bourne

Hinds setlist at Electric Brixton:
The Club
Chili Town
Caribbean Moon (Kevin Ayers cover)
Echoing My Name
Castigadas en el Granero
Davey Crockett (Thee Headcottees cover, joined on stage by Baywaves)
Finally Floating
New For You
San Diego