Gig review: Indoor Pets at The Bodega

Words: Talia Robinson
Photos: Ben Gordon
Thursday 30 May 2024
reading time: min, words

On such a blustery evening out of doors, it was Indoor Pets who were whirling up a flurry in ribcage-rattling rhythmics. We headed down to The Bodega to catch their return to the stage...

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Alcopop! Records are endorsing a sound that is fervently alive with this-small-band-deserves-a-larger-crowd-energy, and it’s palpable in this room tonight. Nothing says a Bodega gig quite like the sweat-slickened walls and beer-soaked floors; prematurely, may I add, with support act Cherym infusing that luck of the Irish into selling punk promises.

Storming the stage with a scream of “Let’s f*****g go!” and the opening riff of Alpha, Beta, Sigma, it’s a fierce welcome for the trio. Dynamically rich in harmonies and stage presence, you’d be silly not to make a note of them in your playlists. Taking Up Sports infuses that early-2000s, summer film end credits song vibe into their sound while If I Was A Man is unapologetically raw. “They wonder why we’re bringing all the noise...” Don’t keep wondering, get listening to them now!

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Indoor Pets themselves are rather surreptitious in their greeting yet just as coy in their winks and waves to the audience. They’ve reinvented themselves many times over the years, yet their current fuzz-fuelled foray into a grungier sound complements the indie-pop undertones of their older material cosmically. We didn’t even need the mirror ball spinning to make us feel like we were weightless in that room.

All good things come in threes; opening track Mean Heart crashes into the setlist with surf-rock nostalgia, but its title is a rather ironic commentary on the initially subdued crowd.

“Don’t be shy Nottingham. Get to know each other!” Frontman Jamie Glass commandeers the bounce and bass of Hi with his own acrobatics. Hurling himself around the microphone, backdropped by the blurred distortion of bassist Oliver Nunn in both sound and hair (literally, it had a life of its own), we begin to feel the effects of the prescribed melodies taking stead. It’s an addictive number. All My Friends has that punch of the kick drum to truly hammer in that this band finally back. “You’re real sweethearts really, aren’t you?”

Of course, Indoor Pets has a crackin’ debut album that we all know and love, but they’ve sleuthed their way into a new era of post-alternative angst and the crowd is geared up for something different. It’s been four years since their self-imposed hiatus. Launching into their earlier work is a welcome reminiscing – the clank and clunk of Fidget Panic Restless Static is more fulfilling.

Title track Pathetic Apathetic is gritty like a sawblade hacking away at those guitar strings. It’s punk to its core. Rigorously heavy and riotous in noizzze. Jamie’s high-pitched snarling really travels through the speakers, sharp enough to be practically shredding the chords for guitarist James Simpson as he teeters on the edge of the stage. He’s almost perpendicular to the floor and still manages to not miss a beat. You could say this is a Recklessly executed performance tonight – for all intents and purposes of that title, it’s anything but. It’s a flawless show.

“This is the interval,” we hear Rob Simpson quip from behind the drum set, the band taking a breather. “This is where the guitarists take an obnoxiously long time to tune, and I attempt an obnoxiously horrible stand-up routine.”

Throwing a few jokes around and being generally lovely about the night is a testament to the charm of the four lads. I suppose it helps that they’ve got good tunes under their sleeves, too. Teriyaki launches us into a groove that is the antithesis of obnoxiousness. It’s sweetly situated as the mid-set song and despite the torrential rain happening outside, Bodega is all sunshine and good times inside.

“This is the part of the show where I’m gonna dance, and I’d really like it if you could not make me look silly.” His nasally nuanced threats of dance seem to do the trick. Jamie takes to the middle of the floor to thrash, headbang, and jump around in his one-man mosh pit – Barbiturates is the perfect antidote to our politeness. The twanging of the guitar strings reverberate throughout the crowd and we’re soon a hypnotic hum.

An acoustic rendition of Spinal Tap is a poignant moment of the show, leading lovingly into Heavy Thoughts. It has that anthemic quality to crescendo as the penultimate track: we’ve got arms in the air; we’ve got arms round in each other. That physical manifestation of touch, of human connection, translates into a visceral display of passion. It’s a mirror of the band, really. A full circle – and how apt with London (Love to Hate), the first track on their sophomore album and the closing track tonight.

Indoor Pets (love to love).

Indoor Pets performed at The Bodega on 28th May 2024.


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