2012 has been a big year so far for one of rock’s most unexpected crossover artists. Pulled Apart By Horses have long made a name for themselves as a shouty outfit with a penchant for funny time signatures, a band who’s shows are as likely to end in A&E as they are to end in applause. With this in mind, it’s surprising to see just how thoroughly their second effort, Tough Love’ has been supported by the likes of Radio One. Not the sort of support any band would scoff at, but what Pulled Apart By Horse do tonight is in no way calculated for chart success: they merely play the music they like, very loudly.
If the sonic assault of opener ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ announces the battle, then ‘Bromance Ain’t Dead’ and new single ‘V.E.N.O.M’ wage the war. Both newer tracks, their heavy but remarkably tight riffs are recalled note perfectly, and possess a sound far more imminent than anything on their self-titled debut. A raucous cover of Nirvana’s ‘Tourette’s’ exemplifies just how far they’ve come as a live unit, giving them an air of confidence that suggests their in-your-face delivery is driven purely by passion rather than technical ineptitude. Unlike so many of their peers, you don’t wish for them to rein it in.
The notably tattooed- older- male dominated audience lends to some formidable circle pitting, even if frontman Tom does put the kibosh on one audience members drunken request for a wall of death. Pulled Apart By Horses are not pugnacious men: in fact, they come across a humble and well-grounded four piece who profess themselves this evening to be ‘just a bunch of ****heads playing music.’ All humbleness aside, there is definitely something about their epic, chugging breakdowns and brilliantly ludicrous song titles that seem to demand a riotous crowd response more befitting of a Sunday derby between two Yorkshire teams, creating a jubilant atmosphere that lasts long into the night. Mission completed.