Pulled Apart By Horses, LaFaro
Alternative indie rock fever grips the city tonight as scores of Derry's coolest teenagers descend on the Nerve Centre for a glimpse of Radio 1 sweethearts, Pulled Apart By Horses. The guttural, throat-ripping style of singing favoured by the band is an acquired taste, so much respect to them for segueing nonchalantly into the national station's daytime playlist alongside the melismatic prowess of Leona Lewis and pop delicacies, The Saturdays.
Flexing their support muscles tonight are the LaFaro boys, limbering up for their seismic European tour with Helmet. Ever on form, they deliver a raucous, combustion-inducing set that warms the crowd up suitably for the headline act. The punters sing along to every word of every song, with Tupenny Nudger in particular going down a treat. When Gavin the soundman declines Jonny's invitation to perform a guitar solo, one opportunistic audience member (Jason ï¿½Carpe Diem' Sanchez) wastes no time jumping on stage, grabbing the front man's proffered guitar and delivering a self-assured performance instead, backed by the amused remaining 75% of the band.
It is to be a night of stage invasions; what starts as one fan's brazen display of zealous appreciation for the support act quickly escalates into seemingly expected behaviour. By the time Pulled Apart By Horses make an appearance, one-tenth of the audience have tried their hand at treading the boards; by the time they play their final note, one in five have shared the stage with them.
PABH have been around for a few years but were propelled into the mainstream psyche this summer when the second single, ï¿½High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive', from their self-titled debut album was Jo Whiley's record of the week. Their frantic, devil-in-a-blender sound is easy to swallow for a couple of tracks but there is a gnawing concern that a full set might be too much to handle. Thankfully these fears prove misplaced and five minutes into the set, this reviewer has completely forgotten there was ever even a possibility that she may not enjoy herself. They might sound like Satan with a toothache in places but that's what makes their sound so compellingly distinctive.
Muse definitely knew they were onto a good thing when they personally invited these guys to support them on their UK tour. Engaging and witty throughout, the Leeds four-piece charm the crowd from the get-go and their 50-minute set is received with riff-incited moshing and ripping up of the dancefloor. Excellent performance that exceeded this reviewer's expectations.