Attitude, energy and a lack of pants is what Nashville punk band Be Your Own Pet are serving up. And I’ll absolutely be ordering more.

Feeling as if I’m in a foreign land outside Deaf Institute in Manchester, I do what anyone would do and take a quick look around. Seems as if I’m in the wrong queue, looks like I’m waiting for a Metallica tribute band or something. How weird. The doors open and I’m hesitant yet optimistic, this is where the first revelation of the night happens. Deaf Institute now has two separate stages inside! I had no idea. Apparently though it seems I don’t have much of an idea about a whole multitude of things. Making it safely into the venue, I overhear conversations about the band and their comeback. What comeback? This is where the second revelation comes in. Here’s me listening to Get Awkward, Be Your Own Pets’ 2008 album, blissfully unaware that the band had since broken up and by virtue of the fact that I’m here right now, had got back together and were now touring cities they hadn’t been to in like 15 years! Wow, isn’t tonight just full of surprises.

An hour after doors the support band Fräulein, a Northern Irish/ Dutch duo take to the stage with teeth bared and fist clenched. Gravelly and thick yet somehow smooth and rounded and sultry all at once. It’s a sound so perfect, I’m jealous of it. Fräulein have created a concoction of early grunge sounds with raw energy and an intimacy that I doubt you’ll find anywhere else. Frayed around the edges and bursting at the seams with emotion, taking inspiration from the likes of PJ Harvey and Big Thief with more layers, texture and grit than you could ever comprehend from two people, Fräulein have no problem with assaulting ears in the best way possible.

Onto the headliners, Be Your Own Pet. After a seemingly awkward start to the set with members coming on one after another and a bit of fiddling about with a guitar we were off. Now when I got to the gig I was told I had a plus one which I didn’t know about and afterward thought I could’ve invited my mum along with me. Thank God I didn’t because I don’t think she would’ve made it out alive. Sporting what I can only describe as a big pair of knickers and knee-high latex boots, frontwoman Jemina Pearl is here to usher in a new era for Be Your Own Pet. Barely a week since the release of their newest album, Mommy and they’re raring to go. With frenzied guitars and deeper basslines, Be Your Own Pet have reinvented themselves filthier and sleazier than before. 

Atop all the noise are vocals ripped straight from the throat of Riot Grrrl, powered forward by Pearl, who is the definition of a frontwoman and doesn’t let only having a grand total of three dance moves stop that. One minute she’s rolling about on the floor, the next she’s crowd surfing. Even with the threat of puking looming over her the energy just does not stop. Despite the mood being generally high a poignant moment in the set was directly after Hand Grenade, in which Pearl points out the song being about her experience of sexual assault and all the men in the audience should carry the message forward rather than just enjoying the music. 

As the night draws to a messy and sweaty end, it’s obvious that this resuscitation of Be Your Own Pet is triumphant. With the band tighter than ever we can only wait with bated breath for what they do next.

Megan Barton

Meg is a proud Mancunian and Music Journalist. She started out by writing press releases for bands in her free time, but now runs her own website Dyrti which she plans to expand in the near future. She loves Lester Bangs and Tony Wilson and has interviewed bands such as Cabbage, Oceans On Mars and Adult Cinema. You will more often than not find her somewhere in the Northern Quarter.