A busy, hip, and happening Headrow House in Leeds welcomed three incredibly exciting female led acts for a blistering night of underground indie rock. The roster featured two acts from Manchester and one from Copenhagen, all of which were of the highest quality. The Manchester bands, Kyogen and PINS, sandwiched a captivating set from Baby In Vain.
First to grace the stage were Kyogen, a two piece comprising of keyboard and synth player Daniel Broomhall and singer and guitarist Kyoko Swan. Kyoko would later reappear in her more familiar role as the guitarist in PINS but this is her solo project which has a completely different angle to the work she does with them. The synth and keys provide a swirling atmosphere while her dynamic vocal range conjures up some interesting moments. The harsh, almost Grime style, beats mixed with Warpaintesque vocals had the audience well and truly warmed up ready for the rest of the evening.
Next up were Baby In Vain with what proved to be one of the most inspiring sets I have witnessed in a long time. The Danish trio appeared shy and timid when they introduced themselves, but this was far from accurate. Their wide ranging influences and styles meant that they began their set by thrashing around the stage before composing themselves only to cut loose again moments later. Sections were purposely untidy, almost in the style of Be Your Own Pet, while others where more structured and progressive, in a similar mould to TOY. As their set progresses each track becomes more and more polished and they increasingly impress with each passing second. “Jesusfreaks” was a personal highlight and Baby In Vain certainly deserve to have a bright and fruitful future.
After such invigorating support acts PINS had their work cut out to maintain the momentum in the room, but these girls are at the top of a profession that undervalues them so there was no danger of them doing anything but building from the foundations Kyogen and Baby In Vain had laid. They opened with “Aggrophobe”, unfortunately Iggy Pop wasn’t around to supply his vocals but bassist Anna Donigan dutifully steps in and to be honest he isn’t really missed. The whole gig has the feel of one of those infamous New York loft or warehouse parties. The stage PINS are on is only slightly elevated from the crowd, who are edging closer all the time, and there is an air of euphoria. This feeling is reinforced when they played “If I Was”, giving the momentary impression of being at one of the early underground The Slits gigs. Their pulsating and joyous started to draw to a close as lead singer Faith Holgate entered the crowd for the majority of “Luvu4lyf”. The band then returned for an encore which saw the band happily dancing with the fans who had invaded the stage during “Dazed By You”.