Pignose @ The Victoria, Swindon 28th Feb

Library - 143 (Review by PfalzDxii)

With only a few days notice, the scheduled band cancelled because of work permit problems. Who would save the Vic’s bacon? Pignose, of course! Thankfully I was not working a night shift, and I could go. I like Pignose, and have seen them quite a few times over the last few years. When I first saw them, they were a trio… Pete, Pete, and Anish. With the addition of Mike, well over a year ago, they became my favourite four piece trio in all the land. The first time I saw this extended line up, it was in the front bar of the Vic. It was here they would be playing again.

Before the event, this is how they were described in “Sounds Around Town”… “For those few not in the know, Pignose fuse together old school rock and roll, blues, gospel and country into some wonderfully evocative and memorable tunes, always worth catching them live.”
All very true of course, but I would like to add that the musicianship from all four is superb, the singing from the three guitarists is fantastic, and there is always much warmth, and there is fun. So much fun! They all have fun playing, and this becomes infectious and radiates outwards. The front bar of the Vic is a small intimate area, with the audience lucky to be very close to the band.

“For those few not in the know”. Yes, that sentence says so much. Many, many people have seen Pignose. Sometimes, local bands get overlooked for the praise they deserve. Sometimes they may not be taken seriously enough. A band of this quality should be respected and cherished, and yes, taken seriously. Much hard work goes into the ability to be spontaneous. Much hard work and love of the music is evident from each and every one of Pignose. There was a goodish sized crowd standing in front of the bar, but not all of the seats were filled. It was a Thursday night. The advertised band had cancelled. No one was sitting anywhere near me (still worrying about that one), and Pignose were on!!

During the second number I realized something special was happening. The songs were the same. The enthusiasm was the same, but the intangible feel for the music had changed. All four seemed somehow to fuse into a single unit. As the lyrics were all used, the band played on. Serious playing this. I could hardly believe my ears and eyes. They had become both types of band, both rhythm, AND blues! Pete downed his drum sticks and moved onto the bongos for almost the entire evening. Mike sat as he played lead. His oil can guitar was not there. He did alternate between two conventional guitars depending on the song. Anish was playing bass guitar. She too was playing a conventional shaped instrument. The large shiny steel bass was not there. Anish seemed far more comfortable as she moved with, and to, the music she was making. Pete played rhythm on his Pignose guitar with a verve that I have come to look forward too. He though, as with the others, had somehow become transformed. The playing was superb. Were they actually winging it? No one was conducting this transformation, and they weren’t studying each others’ playing, or body language. They simply meshed seamlessly together into a rare and magical merging of musical mastery. Three guitars, all so very generous with their sharing of each others’ talents, and all backed with perfect bongo playing. I do not believe that this was planned. I don’t believe you can plan what happened. For a few hours the four individuals had become as one. Thought as one. Played as one. At the end they were all breathless in a way I had not seen them before. I too, felt breathless, and I was simply enjoying them. They knew they had achieved something special. They beamed with a happiness that was a delight to behold.

Sometimes music that good, just happens. Did they plan to do that?…. no. Did they enjoy doing it?…. yes. Will they ever soar that high again?…. they are capable of it, so who knows. I do hope so.
That evening they merged into one. To Pete, Pete, Anish, and Mike, I say thank you. Rather, I should say, to Pignose, thank you.

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