Hinds @ Leadmill

Hinds could’ve been forgiven for giving Sheffield a miss on their seventeen-stop UK tour this December.The Spanish indie rockers were forced to play Tramlines Festival on borrowed kit last time they visited the city in 2016, having had their own instruments stolen days before. Thankfully, nothing dampens the party mood this time around as the all-female band play their infectiously fun garage rock to an enthralled crowd at The Leadmill.

Promising local band The Seamonsters kick off the evening’s entertainment before main support act Sports Team underline their exciting talent with a slick, confident performance. Alex Rice is a charismatic frontman whose frantic dance moves are brilliantly offset by keyboardist Ben Mac’s deadpan stare. Fresh from an afternoon walk in the Peak District, the band have no trouble warming up the Leadmill crowd.

Hinds make a low key entrance, feeling their way into the set with a measured performance of ‘Soberland’ before singer and guitarist Carlotta Cosials assures the crowd that “we came here to rock and roll!” The Madrid quartet show off their synchronised dance moves while covering Kevin Ayers’ ‘Caribbean Moon’, then up the ante with a raucous run-through of ‘San Diego’. New single ‘British Mind’ sounds wonderfully warm live, transporting those in the audience to a hazy late-summer evening (and making them forget about the winter coats they’re lumbered with in the process).

Hinds continue to build momentum as ‘Easy’ is followed by ‘Garden’, the opening track from the band’s much-loved debut album Leave Me Alone. ‘Linda’ marks one of the gig’s mellower moments, featuring jangly guitar lines and distorted vocals that evoke The Strokes’ Is This It. After a nod to the band’s previous Sheffield visit (“We played Tramways? Tramlines? TRAMLINES!”), Hinds hit their stride with ‘The Club’.

Toying with the tempo while their fans sing back yet another stomping riff, Hinds’ know-how and effectiveness as a live band is clear to everyone in the audience. Still, female bands daring to upset the male status quo in rock continue to attract harsh criticism for their musical credentials. It’s a fact addressed by Ana Perrote in her introduction to ‘Tester’: “There’s usually men on stage telling this story, so this time we’re gonna sing our version of it”. Her words bring one of the biggest cheers of the night.

Perrote is soon in the audience for ‘Rookie’ as the band extend their sense of camaraderie to their fans. Hinds bring their main set to a close with a cover of The Clash’s ‘Spanish Bombs’ and an uplifting rendition of ‘Free Floating’, returning for a celebratory encore. If there were any unsure individuals amongst the crowd at the start of the night, Hinds surely won them over.

“Bueno, new friends in Sheffield.”

In association with www.sivtickets.com, the local box office.

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