For their first Leicester gig in seven years, indie darlings The Pains of Being Pure at Heart remind music-goers that, in a venue renowned for highlighting hot new talent, a decade of passion is faultlessly evident when performing live.
Hailing from New York City, Pains have had an impressive career spanning ten years since the unveiling of their first self-released EP, and are now set to release their fourth studio album this summer. Ever more impressive, however, is the fact that the band have never compromised their sound. They have always stuck to their roots and delivered the music they themselves clearly enjoy making, and they certainly serve to deliver on stage.
Each band member harmonises their individual talents perfectly in the pursuit of the crowds affection, and the tracks from their beloved debut album, with its pop hooks, synthpop and shoegaze influence, certainly won over new fans and old. In such a small venue and with such a small crowd, it is essential to acknowledge that the band that you are watching has stayed humble since the very beginning, and that playing to loyal and loving fans means much more to them than selling out shows.
The setlist seemed to indicate a balanced measurement of the melancholic and the kinetic, although the arrangement of songs seemed fragmented at times despite an equal offering of the unique variation of sounds the band has to offer. Getting the crowd into the swing of things with accelerated indie rock efforts such as ‘Until the Sun Explodes’ seem cloistral when subsequently succeeded with mournfully contemplative songs such as ‘Heart in Your Heartbreak’. Although all the songs were executed with wondrous dedication and confidence, the flow and vibe of the show frequently shifted with an immediacy that at times felt emotionally unkempt.
Amidst an evening of joy, frontman Kip Berman assured the crowd how pleasant it was to return to Leicester after such a lengthy absence, and treated them by playing five fanciful tracks from their fan-favourite debut album. Performing wondrous and dreamy songs such as ‘Young Adult Friction’ and ‘Come Saturday’, which are nothing less than concentrated injections of indie adrenaline, excellently highlight their influences from the likes of The Cure and The Smashing Pumpkins.
In an honest and humorous instance, Berman and his band mates refuse to leave the stage for the conventional encore, and decide to pleasure the fans for coming out with their celebratory track ‘Belong’, which prompted that in a scene of which the masses are constantly searching for the popular newcomer, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart still belong, as do everyone wishing to see them after such a long time.