Hinds

Hinds are the band formerly known as Deers.

Internet taught me the reason of the name change. It is because of another band, The Dears, who threatened to sue Deers for name infringement. The 2 bands do not even share the same name.

It is a grotesque sad story indeed. The Dears are a Montreal band who for a couple of albums rode the wave of Canadian alternative music (without being that great at surfing to be fair). The wave, originally generated by Arcade Fire at the beginning of the century, arrived to European coasts and broke out about 10 years ago. Without having the strength of other Canadian bands, The Dears slowly disappeared from the music horizon.

Recently, they had the brilliant idea (sarcasm here) to spend the few dollars they earned, to pay a lawyer to sue a fellow Spanish indie-rock band, Deers.
WTF!! (Stands for: What the Fuck!!). Hoping in what? Bad press coverage and what else?

What they are basically saying is that Dears’ fans are so stupid that could easily confuse between their favourite band and this lovely girls.
If this wasn’t devaluating enough,  what for? Accidentally spotifying a song of Deers instead of one of Dears before realising they are different bands (loss of $0.01)? Buying a Deers album (yet to be released) instead of one of the Dears (loss of 2$)? For real? How much does a solicitor letter cost? Couldn’t you invest in a new guitar for yourself instead of allowing your lawyer to buy for himself?

In facts, they must have understood that the silly legal move was utterly stupid because it is now difficult to find that The Dears from Montreal are the band forcing Deers from Madrid to change name into Hinds.  Enough.

Hinds, which are cool, took the news in style. They drew a lovely cartoon to NME explaining the situation in which they report that “They force us to, we received an email from a Canadian lawyer saying that our name created confusion with his band’s name. And that name is not even deers (LOL). We tried our best, really, but we have no choice. So… Okay!!! Let’s take this with a smile ☺!!! deers are now… Hinds.”

Pass this on to your friends, hoping they’re not fan of The Dears.

Let’s talk about Hinds. There is a lot to say.

As I mentioned, they are not American, British and not even Canadian. They are from Madrid, Spain.
They are 4 young girls. They play garage rock, sang in English, with a joyful Spanish twist. God knows if garage rock needs joyfulness.

Carlotta and Ana play guitar and share vocals. Curly Ade plays bass and blonde Amber (born in Holland) sits on drums.
Is this it? [cit]. Yes, it is. The perfect line-up.

Carlotta and Ana told (again NME) they first got together, learnt to play instruments listening to their favourite music which includes the Black Lips and took off from there.
Then they asked Ade and Amber to add the rhythm section and the Hinds were born. It already sounds as a classic indie-rock fairy tale.

With two difference.
Madrid. The Spanish capital is not the first place to come to mind when talking alternative rock.
The all-female line-up. This is not breaking news though, there’s a comeback of girls’ rock. Not only of historical acts as Electrelane and very recently Sleater-Kinney with a beautiful album, but relatively new bands as Warpaint and Haim are now playing the main stage.

It’s a relative short story from now on. With the debut album still to come, it was a long time since a band got so much press with only a bunch of singles and few shows. That are instantly sold-out. I tried to get in at the Lexington in November, too late. I bought a ticket for the small Boston Arms in Tufnell Park, before even asking for a photopass, just to avoid being left-out again. London Press lists are always tight to photographers despite they are mostly unattended.
Meanwhile they sold out another date at the bigger Electrowerkz.

At The Line of Best Fit they have a great intuition on newcomers. I read about them for the first time.
The Guardian, who won the Pulitzer price and has the traffic, also has a great set of music journos who championed Hinds for the popular “new band of the week” section.

All this press needs attention and I needed to fulfil my curiosity. I went to see and came back tryng to name the last gig I had as much fun. Leaving apart Fat White Family which are something else, I must quote Japandroids at the Camden Barfly in 2009 .

Carlotte came to stage with the other girls to write the setlist on a paperbag with a black marker and to ask the soundman to keep DJing for a while. The sound goes on till the Strokes arrive. They leave and come back walking through the sea of fans packing an oversold venue. I stepped to the front from 7:30 to get to the right place. It’s almost 10pm when they start. It takes seconds to understand it’s going to be a great gig.

Imagine all the passion of latest newcomers overwhelming the lack of technique due to youth. A indie-rock manifesto since the Stooges.
A band that clearly spent time having fun in a garage, rehearsing and learning to play at the same time.
It’s natural they will get better with time, playing and playing again, but the sincerity and the warmth coming out of the tunes is all here and I do hope won’t be sacrificed to skill.

Every giggle, every smile every move is done with straight honesty.
Indie fans feel that and love that.

Songs as Trippy Gum and Bamboo quickly get everyone dancing in a lively mosh pit (at this point I would be worrying about my lenses as per usual). Vaguely retro but into this era without being caught into 60s vintage as Girls. (PS: I love Girls and want them back)
I don’t give up, I know this is the place to be in London tonight. Jangly guitar and lot of smiles. A good English (all songs are sung in English) including Castigadas en el Granero the only with a Spanish title.

It can’t be a long show, literally for the lack of songs. No one complains. They played all their catalogue and sounded brilliant from start to end. Pop hook, chorus, fresh sound, crisp and young riffs. Simple, pure.
They always smile, have a laugh if something goes wrong, never look preoccupied if some cables unplug or a string is out of tune.
A lovely evening, between them, with the fans all it was missing was a Spanish summer open air night.

When it’s time to close the gig, Hinds don’t have anything left to play but would love to play more. So they call anyone to jump onto the stage. Once as many people as the stage can squeeze are on, another version of Bamboo is played with a sing-along of 100+ people.

It’s the kind of situation in Spain (or Italy) would be absolutely normal and part of the local folklore. To the English “Health and Safety department” of Boston Arms it must have looked dreadful. A bored big man, shini yellow jacket, “security” font Arial Size 128 on the back, came to the front to check no one ain’t doing no wrong.

Obviously nothing happens, apart an unplugged cable, a guitar that stops working and need change and some big laughs to build an impromptu moment that everyone will remember for a long while.

It must be a beautiful sensation to find yourself on a stage in front of people that sincerely adore you as much as you sincerely do what you adore.

Hinds just finished their tour, be sure you keep in touch with them at the right places (a plethora of domain changes it’s happening right now), the following should help to not get lost: [website][facebook][twitter][Instagram][Spotify]

Photo tip

Boston Arms is 50 yards away from Tufnell Park’s tube station. Northern line, High Barnett branch. One stop after Kentish Town, two from Camden Town. It’s North London zone2. To my knowledge a no go zone years ago, now that Camden and Kentish towns expand rapidly area is becoming a trendy.

I had never been in this part of London before. Someone tells me this wouldn’t have been my first pub of choice unless I was after a fight on a Friday night plan.
I cannot confirm. On a Wednesday night, tonight, it looks cheerful and cosy, the perfect place to play such a gig.

It was my first gig at Boston Arms music room too. The room is a large pub room dedicated to live music and separated from the main pub. There are few tables on the right, the bar on the left and a wide nice wooden floor hosting maybe 2-300 people.
I am given a leaflet saying Oasis’ superstar Noel Gallagher is playing here in about a month which translates in: the place is hip at the moment.

Unsurprisingly there is no pit and there are only LED lights, this is the norm of venues of this size. Concert photography wise it is a wide angle place, f2.8 throughout ISO >3200. Time to show off your D750 if yours does not have flare problems. I keep going with my beloved D700 paired with a D800 and a range of 14 to 70mm focal lengths. More than enough.

The no pit situation implies to get to the front early, especially when sold out. There is some space under the stage platform to leave a bag and coat, which is very useful.
At the entrance I was told three songs no flash. As anyone with some experience of live music knows, no pit and a sold out small venue means you can shoot the whole gig unless someone asks to stop, which usually does not happen. It didn’t. The girls are so into the music that don’t really care of photographers’ presence.

It’s about 3 or 4 “pro” cameras (+ point and shots + mobiles). It’d be all nice if a photographer, likely at one of her first ever gig experiences, didn’t ignore anyone else and stood in the way of any other lens present. An unusual all access made her feel empowered and above anyone else.

If on a standard night most of my photos are binned because of a mic pole in the way, in this case most were trashed because of a camera, or the whole combo photographer + camera, is in the frame. She acted selfish, aggressively and disrespectfully. It didn’t help anyone.

Not sure she will ever read this little blog but, if it happens, my tip to you is this.

“You can be the greatest music photographer the UK scene has ever seen, you will not get anywhere if you do not learn to respect who’s doing your same job.”

~ by Valerio on January 26, 2015.

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