REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

PAWS Get Their Claws Out live

Glasgow band tear the Belgrave Music Hall a new one...

PAWS Since the release of their debut 2012 album Cokefloat, PAWS have been showcasing their impressive balancing act. Their lo-fi pop-punk squall sits just the right side of cool to land them spots sound tracking skate videos and in-depth interviews in Sidewalk magazine, and their 90s indebted sound is currently be doing the rounds as the trendiest thing in music right now. Where most bands would disappear up their own arses with this though, Paws seem to take things with a knowing nod and a smile. Unlike opening band Jasper House, who represent everything currently wrong with Leeds’ fast-tracked cultural expansion (where once the North was lauded for its ability to provide a cheap pint, Leeds is in danger of proving that economic health = trendy overpriced boutique bars… but hey, that’s for another article), Paws take themselves less than seriously. Guitarist Phillip Taylor spends a good 15 minute jamming out tunings onstage, before the band rip head-on into Cokefloat opener Catherine 1965, blurring the line between set and set-up. From there it’s a whirlwind of noisy guitar jangles, taking in everything from more tender moments like ‘Bird Inside Birdcage, Ribcage Inside Bird’ to the shrill anti-cancer bellows of ‘Bloodlines’. Armed with a heap of end-of-tour excitement (and one too many tequila shots), the show is packed full of smile inducing moments: ‘Poor Old Christopher Robin’, one of Cokefloat’s most heartfelt moments, is giggled through the mic by Taylor as drummer Josh Swinney proposes sexual favours to the sound guy in one of the song’s quieter sections, and Closing track WarCry – which is also set to close PAWS’ second album, out ‘soon’ – is perhaps the heaviest the three-piece have trodden so far. A crunching drop-D riff explodes from jammy interludes, and the first few rows bang their heads in appreciation. Taylor ends it all by handing his guitar to an audience member and sets to his pedals as the plucky fan wigs out with glee.