It’s been far too long since fans have been graced with the fantastic madness that is Pulled Apart By Horses. Due to a cancellation of their November 2012 tour, and spending most of 2013 working on their forthcoming album, the Leeds 4-piece have starved their fans of their presence for far too long.
Do they make up for it on this particular night? Well, the band is arguably a bit rusty, with songs such as ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ being played slightly below their usual frantic tempo. Luckily, the band are not completely reliant on speed as their sole gimmick, and these songs prove to be good enough to still have a huge impact even when they’re not hammered out at lightning speed. This is evidenced by the packed-to-the-rafters Cellar going absolutely nuts for every anthem they unleash upon them. The front half of the room essentially becomes one huge mosh pit, with bodies flying dangerously close to the entrance to the upstairs part of the venue, which are dubbed “the stairs of death” by frontman Tom Hudson.
The set-list is a strangely constructed, with the band throwing out their most popular numbers early on in the set. The band then proceed to wiz through album tracks and new material, rarely stopping to address the chaos that is happening before them. When they do, it is for Tom to comment on how insane the crowd is compared to their last show at The Great Escape. Although “this crowd is the best!” is a cliché marched out by every band with a microphone and some silence to fill, the grin on Tom’s face at least shows genuine appreciation for the rowdy group of drunks they like to call their fans.
As the gig comes to an end, the band rip through a cover of The Stooges ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. It’s fuzzed out, three-chord stomp fits in perfectly with the rest of the bands catalogue. They then move on to their signature closer, ‘Den Horn’, and then they’re out.
So, did this long awaited return live up to the high expectations? Resoundingly, yes. There is a reason why a mere mention of the band’s name draws a smile out of the usually cynical blokes who seem to live at their local venues. Pulled Apart By Horses are simply rock ‘n’ roll at its most exciting.