20 November 2018
The Junction, Cambridge

A bitter wind blew on a cold and dark Tuesday night in Cambridge as I walked to The Junction to check out the 4-piece Spanish Indie rock band Hinds. Although I had not seen them before, I had heard of them, following recommendations from fellow music geeks who had bigged them up as a new young and talented lo-fi all female group.
I wasn’t anticipating a big crowd at The Junction and as I entered the main venue room my expectations were spot on.

I just caught the last song from one of the support acts Sports Team, with the lead singer doing his very best Mick Jaguar impersonation, and there were barely a hundred people in the room. Still, for a cold and dark school night, I guess a hundred was not bad, so I got myself a drink, quite easily grabbing the attention of the bored bar-staff, and positioned myself for the main event. As I stood enjoying the space and drinking my pint without having anyone bump into me (no spilt beer tonight – bliss!) I wondered if the Spanish female rockers would be able to bring some warmth and sunshine into our lives.

Hinds came on stage at 9.15pm welcomed by generous applause, and screams, as it became obvious that there were some mainly Cambridge student fans in the house - they were warm on alcohol and enjoying the ‘plenty of space mosh-pit vibe’. The band showed no nerves but only their appreciation to the fans and were full of smiles and very chatty. The Hinds opened with ‘Soberland’, ‘Chilli Town’ an old favourite with the crowd from their 2016 debut album, their Kevin Ayers of Soft Machine cover ‘Caribbean Moon’ and their new single ‘British Mind’, and I have to say I was impressed.

Carlotta and Ana, both guitarists and founding Hind members, took turns in sharing the lead vocals as well as singing together beautifully in harmony. Ana, sporting a blue vintage Real Madrid FC football shirt, was very cool, very good looking and took centre stage but it was Carlotta to her left who did most of the talking with the crowd. At one point, Carlotta spoke in her husky Spanish accent asking the crowd if they were enjoying this cold ‘Wednesday’ night, only to then realise she’d got her days wrong as it was Tuesday! The rest of the band, and crowd, found this hilarious with bass player, Ade, quick to then sarcastically announce to the mic “hello London!” which added to the joke of course. It became clear that this bunch of young Spanish female rockers were determined to enjoy themselves and interact and entertain the crowd at the same time.

The jangly guitar rock music continued with the duo vocals perfectly supported by the bass and drums rhythm section of Ade and Amber. They played some great versions of recent album hits such as ‘Linda’, ‘Tester’ and ‘The Club’ while mixing things up nicely with debut album crowd pleasers such as ‘Gardens’, ‘Bambo’ and a favourite of mine ‘San Diego’ – which had a kind of Libertines vibe to it. At one point a couple of fans from the audience, who seemed to be known to the band, were invited up on stage to join in and dance – this went down well with the student mosh pit. Throughout the gig both Carlotta and Ana not only displayed expert musicianship and vocal range but also their ability to entertain. They just seemed to be having so much fun and it was kind of irresistible that you just had to get on board and join in!

After an hour they finished their set off with a few classics such as ‘Davey Crockett’, ‘Castigadas En El Granero’ another hit from their 2015 limited edition compilation album and ‘New For You’, a timeless groove lyrically based on love, purity and trying to be a better person – a fitting tribute to the positive vibes and happiness that these young Spanish females brought to the table. Overall, I counted 16 songs in an 80-minute set which if you do the maths, is not bad going.

As I left, I reflected on the cheerfulness, fun and music of Hinds and it made me think what could be next for them? - they were nearing the end of their World Tour but were barely half way through their European tour. I’m sure it would be right to say that they still have some development and learning to come, however, Hinds have something. They displayed incredible versatility with the Spanish sun of their personalities shining through to reveal great feeling, depth and expression but at the same time, they could punk it up and rock all night with ease. Great energy, great fun, and even though we were few and far between on the night, they made us feel part of the Hinds gang, of which I am sure there are many.

Words and i-phone pix - Dan Sly
Thanks to Rob @ Sonic PR for sorting things out!