The last time Hinds’ Carlotta Cosials came to KOKO, she was turned away at the door as an under-age and ID-less teenager. It’s a story she tells as she returns with her band for the biggest show of their lives in front of a euphoric full house. Clearly overcome with emotion, she’s barely able to get the words out at first.
The finest hour of the group’s career so far could hardly take place in grander surroundings, with blinding lights rebounding off the impressive giant disco ball suspended from the ceiling of the former theatre. Hinds are quite the live spectacle, and this most majestic of venues is made – and equally mad – for them.
Bounding onstage to Hot Chocolate’s ‘You Sexy Thing’, the rapturous reception that greets the foursome is more akin to one a band might receive at a homecoming show at the end of a world tour. Then again, this is Hinds’ ninth London show – and most remarkably their ninth to sell out – so it does feel like a homecoming of sorts. They gladly receive the screams and applause and saunter about the stage, getting ready.
Though ‘Warning With The Curling’ – an early cut from the Deers days – isn’t exactly an explosive opener, the atmosphere has already reached fever pitch. But Hinds are a clever bunch, and they’ve carefully constructed their setlist to ensure the party only officially starts at the optimum moment. ‘Trippy Gum’, ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’ and ‘Warts’ inject enough pep into the crowd to get them grooving, but it all still feels like something of a tease.
Then ‘Chili Town’ hits – and it all goes off. Lively without being particularly boisterous on record, it takes on a whole new guise live, the magical vocal partnership between Cosials and Ana Perrote blossoming for all to see, and reaffirming just how crucial it is to the group’s continued success. If this is a party though, ‘Chili Town’ is just the beginning – it’s only going to get wilder from here on in.
Leave Me Alone’s most riotous number ‘San Diego’ puts all those on KOKO’s standing floor on a collision course with one another, as does much loved early classic ‘Castigadas en el Granero’. Spain and partying seem to go hand in hand, and these four amigas bring to London a carnival atmosphere few British bands can.
And friends are exactly what Carlotta, Ana, Ade and Amber are. There’s a bond between them that’s almost supernatural, as they strut their stuff smiling, giggling, and simply loving every second of it. This isn’t a band playing a show; these are best mates having the time of their lives, but for an audience. There’s absolutely no doubt that it’s a defining moment in their career, and judging by the consummate ease with which they pull off tonight’s Iberian garage-pop extravaganza, nothing can phase them. ¡Viva Hinds!
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