Sunday, 14 September 2014

30/3/2013 David R Black @ Hoxton Underbelly

SubjectDavid R Black @ Hoxton Underbelly
DateCreated4/2/2013 3:16:00 PM

Saturday night on Easter Bank Holiday Weekend finds me heading down to Hoxton. It should have been a quick and simple journey - if I hadn't found out at the last minute that Old Street station was shut.

I had to get a bus for the last half of the journey - it was awful - there were people on there and everything.
And it took bloody ages. 

I arrived at Hoxton Underbelly just in time. Although I don't normally like trendy places like Hoxton I am actually warming to this little basement venue. The beer selection at the bar is poor, but at least I can get a pint for under £4. Just. It's a quite intimate and comfortable venue, without feeling cramped - although I'm sure it's not as cool when it fills up. Nice staff on the door too.

I'm here to see Manchester alt-rockers David R Black on a rare visit to London.

Although this band have been going for several years this is only the second time I have manged to see them - the previous time being at the much-missed Gaff in Holloway Road.

The band play for around half an hour with fire and passion. There are no airs and graces, no posing - just loud rock music played from the heart. You can tell they mean it - there is no 'agenda' here. David R Black aren't doing this for fame or money - they didn't drive all the way from Manchester for that. They are doing this simply because they want to - or even because they need to. And it shows.

There are no ballads, no acoustic interludes, no phoney 'spontaneous' banter - no cliches, just good honest rock music straight from the heart. There is definitely an American influence to their alt-rock sound, but you can't say they really sound much like anyone else apart from David R Black. I certainly found it well worth the hassle of travelling down from North London to enjoy their set - I just hope they found it worthwhile travelling from Manchester to play to a modest but appreciative crowd.

I hung around for a while and checked out the following band, but the evening seemed to be heading in a distinctively trendy Hoxton hipster indie direction so I decided to bail - waiting for a bus in sub-zero temperatures doesn't hold much attraction for me at the best of times - and I realised if I headed back homewards in time I could still catch part of a cover band's set in a local pub while enjoying cheaper and much better beer and have a much shorter and easier trip home after....

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