Hackney Arts Centre 4/5/2018

May the fourth be with you and all that. Walking through Hackney, it does feel like a weird, otherworldly universe of darkness, a faint air of ‘don’t fuck with me’ emanating from some of the people we pass on the street. Perhaps that’s why there isn’t really anyone who has dared come to this gig. The venue is very empty and I feel for the first band, Girls In Synthesis, who are actually, apart from their female drummer, not girls at all but very shouty men, one of whom is wearing a boilersuit. He literally counts the small crowd in front of them (there is a 360 degree stage as is customary of the Pit Party shenanigans but there aren’t enough people in the room to make the most of it yet) though the fact that they are playing to basically no-one though doesn’t detract from their show. A great big smack in the mush is what they are – loud punk with a tinge of hipster, there is so much dry ice in the room that I didn’t even realise that they had a drummer til I googled them afterwards.

In between bands, I note that the venue has a nice chandelier and the lead singer of Pulled Apart By Horses walks past with his dinner. What follows afterwards is some droning psychedelia courtesy of Sheffield’s Baba Naga, who possibly think that they’re The Doors tripping out. I question whether the singer has a face as his long curly locks drape forward for pretty much the whole set. I can’t see anyway as the constant strobes are fucking with my eyes. Despite the fact that they are all very good musicians, I am a bit hypnotised and a bit bored. Husky Loops are next up and they continue the multitude of genres on stage this evening, covering quite a few themselves. Indie-rock meets EDM with a bit of live sampling, the beats are solid in the way that Kasabian like to tub thump, the fact that they are all dressed in black makes me think of Franz Ferdinand. Youthful exuberance surges round the room with enthusiastic whoops coming from singer Danio, though this doesn’t make up for the fact that they seem to play one song too many.

Because the main reason that I’m here, and I suspect most other homo sapiens, is the headline act; exciting to secure this quartet for a traditionally chaotic evening. ‘I feel like I should have three masks on so everyone can see my face’, quips Tom Hudson, even though most of the crowd are in front of him too. I still can’t believe the crowd isn’t bigger. The band don’t seem to mind though, pulling out the expected classics, such as ‘I Punched a Lion in the Throat’, and others from their more recent album ‘The Haze’, while handing out beers, doling out scissor kicks and getting up close with their loyal disciples in the ‘pit’. Pulled Apart By Horses are Northern, they jump about and scream a lot. They should be more famous than they are but I’m glad they’re not because their cult status allows them to still play intimate shows like this, that still allow a connection and a slight sense of terror in the mosh. There is a paper mache head going mental somewhere in the audience so, despite the meagre audience, Fluffer Records can once again pat itself on the back for being a little bit of back street mayhem to those that could be arsed to come all the way to Hackney.

Words and Pix - Anna C

Thanks to Josh and Al for letting me and the plus one in.