Sound Control, Manchester, UK6th April 2017
By AJ Phink
Welcome to musical menagerie that sees Pulled Apart By Horses and Tigercub visit Manchester’s Sound Control, as is the increasingly common and very annoying policy of many venues, the bands start ridiculously early, especially for those of us who reside in the suburbs, to make way for a club night, so we’ve missed Thee MVPs by the time we finally get into the venue. This is annoying as I always try to catch every band and was looking forward to seeing them, hopefully I’ll catch them on their next visit to the city. On the plus side at least we arrived in time for Tigercub, as with the last gig I attended at Sound Control bass heavy hip hop precedes the arrival of the bands.
Tigercub make an unassuming entrance and launch into a haunting introduction, before their bass heavy aural assault laced with reverb drenched guitar hooks kicks in. Tigercub are underpinned by a remorseless rhythm section that is complimented with some twisted guitar riffs, all of which is overlaid with a vocal drawl that is delivered with a laid back style that belies the energy of their material. Tigercub straddle genres, they possess the bass heavy drive of grunge that is mixed with indie, punk and garage, and a dash of pretty much everything else is thrown into the mix, to create a cocktail that’s hard to describe, but if you think of a J. Mascis fronted Nirvana channelling early Muse and you’re about half way there.
Tigercub deliver a grinding heavy mix of alternative styles that defies categorisation, even when you think you’ve got a handle on them another card is dealt from the bottom of the pack to keep you off balance. I had no idea what to expect from a band called Tigercub, but it wasn’t the heady pounding mix that is delivered by this Brighton Trio, what I do know is that they have a captivating and original sound that I hope to experience again. What was a sparsely populated Sound Control at the start of the night has filled up nicely during the course of Tigercub‘s support slot, ready for Pulled Apart By Horses headlining set in support of the excellent new album, The Haze, that was released last month via Caroline International.
After a lengthy set up and an eclectic, to say the least, DJ set, Pulled Apart By Horses take to the stage to an absolutely packed Sound Control, from the first number they kick straight into overdrive with their high octane garage infused rock, and its clear from the off that they already have an established, and very vocal fan base, in Manchester. As the second song kicks in an enthusiastic and sweaty mosh pit has already formed and as good as I thought the The Haze album was, what has becomes immediately clear is that Pulled Apart By Horses are a band whose natural home is on stage, as the energy levels have already been raised to critical levels.
Pulled Apart By Horses set encompasses their four albums, throughout they maintain their high energy levels for a set of genre spanning rock that really has to be experienced live, their onstage intensity is matched by the crowds reaction, one that is as enthusiastic as I’ve seen at a midweek gig in Manchester. The set played tonight is one that’s as relentless as I’ve heard, there is no slow number to pause for breath or to slip to the bar, every song they deliver is as good as the last, and if you want to see the spirit of rock ‘n roll embodied in a band then go and see Pulled Apart By Horses, as their brand of garage fuelled rock ‘n roll is as good as anyone I’ve seen, thankfully there are no metal or rock clichés or excesses as this is stripped down rock ‘n roll at its finest.
My previous exposure to Pulled Apart By Horses was reviewing The Haze and I thought that was a damn fine album, but as good as that album was live they are a totally different prospect, and as energetic as the band were it must be said that just as much credit must go the audience who have given it everything tonight, from circle pits and demented mosh pits to a steady wave of crowdsurfing throughout the set. Pulled Apart By Horses would seem to be an odd choice of name, but after seeing them live it’s one that makes perfect sense, after seeing the commitment of the crowd and the band tonight I can only imagine that’s exactly what they feel like after a show like this.
Pulled Apart By Horses include an intense cover of The Beatles classic Helter-Skelter in the set, that is delivered with the spirit of the original, and its a compliment to them to say that this is easily the best cover I’ve heard of this classic number, and believe me I’ve heard a few. It was impressive that the pit was that frantic and frenzied as I’ve seen in a while, as an added bonus it kept people filming the show to an minimum, and I can’t think of a better way of keeping this annoying trend out of live shows. The night ended with the vocalist and guitarist Tom Hudson surfing across the crowd, it seems that the last hour has flown by in a loud, sweaty, energetic blur and if tonight wasn’t rock ‘n roll then I don’t know what is.
Pulled Apart By Horses website is here
The Punk Site Review of The Haze can be read here
Tigercub‘s web presence can be found here
Photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here,
You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images