Interview: Manchester pop-rock quartet PINS

Interview: Manchester pop-rock quartet PINS

Photo: Elle Brotherhood

The all-female foursome talk aesthetics, new music and voodoo dolls

The Ray Ban and leather-clad quadruple that make up PINS (Faith Holgate, Lois McDonald, Anna Donigan and Sophie Galpin) hail from Manchester and recently signed to the Cocteau Twins' Bella Union Records.

Following this month’s release of their pop-rock debut album Girls Like Us, this gothic girl group are undoubtedly on the way up – and are set to tour soon with Warpaint. We caught up with them before they headline Glasgow’s Broadcast…

You've been causing quite a stir for the last 18 months. Anyone with an internet connection can find out what PINS are all about. What we want to know, just to be difficult is, who will PINS never be?

Lois: PINS will never be anyone else. We make music that we love to listen to, and do the things we wanna do.

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers signed their record deal, legend has it that they went into the boardroom meeting completely naked and covered everyone in paint. What did PINS do when Bella Union captured their signature?

Lois: Exactly the same thing. But everyone was naked.

If you had to write your own press release for Girls Like Us, how would you describe it?

Sophie: Girl Gang Makes Loud Rock And Roll Album In One Week.

Aesthetic appears to be a fundamental facet of the group. Do you see image as just as important as the music you're creating?

Lois: I guess it is all part of the same thing, but it all comes pretty naturally. We love writing music, and doing the stuff that comes with it too, putting together all the artwork, photos and videos etc.

Anna: Agreed. There are no conscious decisions needed. PINS are a progressive band and our whole image has naturally evolved with our music.

Sophie: We wouldn't ever project an image that wasn't a natural extension of ourselves and our music. It's not created, it just 'is'.

Faith, lyrically, are your words created out of anger, vulnerability, or a mix of both? (For example, ‘Say To Me’'s lyrics could be interpreted from two different viewpoints: sardonic goading or genuinely vulnerable.)

Faith: Like most of my lyrics, 'Say To Me' is a tale of love. Love makes you angry and vulnerable and everything in between so, yeah, it is genuine. Some of it is a little tongue and cheek… ‘I wait for you to surround me / now astound me’… I’m asking to be impressed!

Fellow Manc Liam Fray (of The Courteeners) is a fan of PINS, and recently said even though his group gets bracketed in the 'Madchester' category the city has worn for the last two decades, he listened to NY music just as much as from music from home soil. We can tell you're fans of NY, but what music from the UK has you excited?

Anna: Hookworms, Veronica Falls, CHVRCHES...

Faith: Abjects, Brown Brogues, Base Ventura, Best Friends.

Sophie: CHVRCHES, Savages, Mistoa Poltsa.

Lastly, if you each owned a voodoo doll, who would the doll represent and why would you stick your pins into it?

Anna: I'd have three dolls each representing the other three members of PINS. I wouldn't stick pins in them... I'd love them and keep them forever.

Faith: I’d like a voodoo doll to keep. I wouldn’t push any pins in it though… Believing in karma is enough.

Sophie: That's a bit dark for me. I wouldn't have any.

PINS headline Broadcast, Glasgow, Sat 12 Oct and also support Warpaint at the O2 ABC, Glasgow, Mon 28 Oct.


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).


Jangley indie pop from Manchester's Pins.

The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham

Sat 30 Oct


Yes, Manchester

Sun 31 Oct

£14 / 0161 720 4090


Harmonic femme rock four-piece from LA.

Albert Hall, Manchester

Thu 12 May 2022

£30.94 / 0161 817 3490

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Tue 17 May 2022

£25.20 / 01424 229111

O2 Academy Bristol

Wed 11 May 2022

£31.69 / 0844 477 2000

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