Photos by Tom Spray
Pulled Apart By Horses are the kind of band that you would think is made up of tough guys until you see them live. And there’s no disputing that they are a force to be reckoned with — but there’s also no denying that they are quick to paint themselves as non-threatening.
They have a new album out called Blood, but their guitarist is wearing a fake mustache. They explode with an energy that borders on violent while they play, but the audience and the thank yous are all quite civil (with gratuitous mention of a day off to spend in Christiania). They are surrounded by Dr. Marten’s advertising, but make no mention of it.
They have benign between song banter that is often amusing and awkward in equal turns, and takes a lot of the edge off of the screaming, flailing and head banging that is the is the heart of the show. Because what PABH promise, and deliver, is volume; borderline hardcore on the older songs and borderline rock on the new ones; shouting so raw you wonder how any of them have voices left; and yes, lots of careering around, knocking over mic stands, and generally proving themselves to a band that would be difficult to roadie for.
The interaction also carries offstage with frontman Tom Hudson staggering around the audience during “I Punch a Lion in the Throat” and later again during the cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” But still, most of the raucous behavior is confined to the stage. It takes until the final song, “High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive,” to actually get a pit going. And it’s just that level where people bounce around instead of fully ricocheting off of each other. It’s appropriate. And it’s all harmless fun.