Opening the night are Jitterz, a two-piece from Leicester. They begin with Girl I Hate You, which is dedicated to drummer Jamie's boss for not allowing a day off work prior to the gig. Slower song Lonely has a less than smooth segue into a track that would have sounded at home on White Blood Cells by The White Stripes. They are still endearingly shy ("we're not shy, we're just socially awkward") and slightly shambolic with missed cues, fluffed lyrics and dropped drums sticks but that's part of the fun. Their best song, One Good Song, still sounds great, although as singer Beth says, "why didn't we do that one last because now I'm tired."
Next up are Liines, a three-piece from Manchester. They have a great punky/grungey sound very reminiscent of the excellent Sleater-Kinney. They avoid the problem that Jitterz had by not really interacting with the crowd but they do have something that Jitterz were missing - a bassist. A really good one at that as Steph added a brilliant bottom end to their sound. For me, the highlights of the set were I Never Wanted This and recent single Disappear but their whole performance was filled with energy and emotion.
Finally, we have the headliners and party throwers, Pet Crow, a four-piece from just down the A52 in Derby, but don't let that put you off. Opener Get Out demonstrates what the band are about - garage rock but the time signatures give it a bit of an arty twist. This continues into the second track, which sounds a little like Franz Ferdinand. The vocals on She's Back recall any number of late 80s dream pop groups and there are a couple of songs that reminded me of Courtney Barnett, and not just because Pet Crow have a female vocalist. All of which adds up to a really interesting musical cocktail.
All in all, a great night and three really good bands, topped off with the Fan Club DJs spinning some tracks. If you missed the gig, make sure you check these bands out online, yer tabs will thank you.
Pet Crow album launch with support from Liines and Jitterz was at Rough Trade on Friday 24 February 2017.
A Simple Guide To Small And Medium Pond Life by Pet Crow is out now.