It’s Thursday night and The Pearl Harts have poured themselves into the slickest black PVC trousers ever seen outside the confines of a risqué S&M dungeon as they eagerly kick open the doors of the weekend!

They’re warming up the crowd for False Heads where later this evening the dance floor will descend into a chaotic and beery Slip ‘N Slide. I decline the temptation of getting too close to the stage through fear of spending The Pearl Harts’ set gazing upon the fancy footwork of singer/guitarist Kirsty as she effortlessly employs loop pedals to provide the duo with a sound much larger than the sum of their parts. I’ve done this before at their gigs and it’s a bit like watching a great horror film, in that I want to look away but really can’t. It’s rather addictive, albeit it does burst the enigma somewhat and interfere with the desire to let loose and have a dance – which is precisely what their music compels one to do.

The band thrust forth with opener ‘Baby Chaos’ – which may or may not be a tribute to ’90s Glaswegian rockers, Baby Chaos – and load their set with three new tracks. It appears they have been busy bees indeed, working on the follow-up to 2018’s Glitter and Spit album, as new single, ‘More’, is aired. It’s a poppy dance floor filler wherein Kirsty and drummer Sara command the crowd to “gimme whatcha got – don’t ever stop”. The band explain, “‘More’ is our sassy, sexy, post-ironic stab at the consuming world in which we live… leaving us asking where, exactly, does ‘More’ stop?”.

Having previously toured with Garbage and Skunk Anansie (fronted by the formidable and commanding presence of Shirley Manson and Skin, respectively) Kirsty and Sara have honed their craft and developed the confidence to positively own the stage – be it a tiny dive bar or a 10,000 capacity mega dome.

They fly through their set with aplomb. ‘Pullin’ My Brains Out’ is a snappy two-and-a-half-minute blast of adrenalin with driving drums and discordant riffs, while ‘Suck It Up’ is a stand up straight and tall anthem about rolling with life’s punches and toughing it out. It’s here that Kirsty’s whisky-drenched vocals punch to the forefront, instilled with raw energy and a blues hue.

Set closer ‘Hit The Bottle’ is my favourite song of the night – and possibly the oldest too. With its frantic pace and “let’s go” gang-yelled retort, it races for the finish line like a cheetah in pursuit of a tasty gazelle. It’s a real rabble-rousing party tune that’s actually about attempting to not give into one’s vices.

The band, presumably named after female outlaw of the American Old West, Pearl Hart (who perpetrated one of the last stagecoach robberies in 1899), conjure the aura of rock ‘n’ roll outlaws, channelling Joan Jett’s “I don’t give a damn” vibe with the stylish, rockin’ pout of The Kills. Who possibly wouldn’t want more?!

Set list: Intro / Baby Chaos / Pullin’ My Brains Out / Suck It Up / More / Hypocritical / Different Kinda Girl / Hit The Bottle.

The Pearl Harts’ new single ‘More’ is out now and is taken from their forthcoming second album, ‘Love, Chaos’. You can purchase the band’s music and merch from Bandcamp and stream their music on Spotify and YouTube. Follow the band on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok for the lowdown on new music and upcoming gigs.

Review by Mandy Bang @mandybang
Photos by Mark Dans L’Espace

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