Pulled Apart By Horses makes you sweat!

Pulled Apart By Horses pulles you to an indoors stage when the sun is shining and makes you dance and sweat your brain out.

If you’ve heard Pulled Apart By Horses before and seen footage of their live performances you’ll know they’re an addictively danceable insert-prefix-here-hardcore band from the UK. You’ll also know that they have a maniac guitarist, James Brown, who has a tendency to break either himself or his guitar during their set (according to the band there have already been a dozen emergency room visits during the band’s lifetime). But what was it all like here at Ilosaarirock festival?

I’m in the crowd, halfway through their set and I close my eyes and listen to the screaming and dirty guitar licks. It’s the same kind of feeling I get from watching a really entertaining gore flick, a wide smile on my face as zombies are getting killed. You know what I’m talking about.

I open my eyes and there are sweaty boys fists in the air in the pretty violent moshpit, but the front row consists mostly of girls screaming and nodding their heads, long hair tangled in sweat and extatic smiles on their faces. This is exactly what the band was aiming for.

I met Pulled Apart By Horses and their crew backstage, and the band’s singer Tom Hudson quoted Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme saying good music needs to be sexy enough for girls to dance to but heavy enough for dudes to raise their fists in the air as well. For Pulled Apart By Horses it was just the sweaty dudes at first, but soon enough they attracted a female audience too.

They say being macho is boring and not their intention at all, and that resonates in their live set too. Everybody is just having a good time regardless of gender (or even age for that matter; I happened to see someone’s mom dancing in their moshpit, great moves by the way!), no bullshit. Besides, what’s better than a sweaty, early afternoon moshpit? I can only think of a few things, but this one you can do with your pants on. (Up next after their set was Norwegian black-metal band Mayhem, bringing some macho and rigor mortis to the crowd, but PABH left me feeling sweaty and awesome).

When asked about their influences the band start rambling. Nirvana is mentioned, so are horror movies. The trick is to rip off all your favourite bands, but to rip off so many of them that you don’t know what’s what anymore, they joke. At the same time the band admire magnets that a fan had made them. There’s a cartoon head of each of them made out of felt. There’s grungy singer Tom, broody guitarist James Brown, bohemian bassist Robert John Lee and drummer Lee Vincent, who has an impressive beard, all of them recognizable. You gotta love the fans!

Halfway through the interview I was left alone with bassist Rob, and he talked about what a tight group the band is.If one member quit, it wouldn’t be the same band anymore. They have a sense of democracy and an attitude that “It’s the four of us against the world. We are like brothers: we equally hate and love each other”. Isn’t that the recipe for all great rock groups? They have the energy and mad stage behaviour like a punk band should and, from what I experienced, manners like English gentlemen. If you didn’t catch their set today, well, you should have.

Text: Maria Sandell
Photos: Maria Sandell  & Markus Korpi-Hallila

Aihe(et): In English.