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The Heartbreaks | Camden Barfly April 2010

I wandered down to Camden Barfly to take a listen to The Heartbreaks recently. They are a band who have a strong sound on digital, so I was interested to see if this transposed to a live performance.

The Heartbreaks

The Heartbreaks

Parking was a cinch, I managed to land a space just nearby and the bar works well. I wonder about the guy in the downstairs loo who has a plethora of aftershaves and happily presses a cold water tap before pumping your hands with a suspect bottle of lotion in which to wash your hands.  Despite it being the Friday on Easter I made it to the venue in short-order and found myself hanging around meeting stray dogs, this it literal not alluding to…, and groups of enthusiastic party goers. I wandered upstairs and found myself at the tail end of the first group of four bands.

The Heartbreaks, I knew I was meant to be heading somewhere…. I had a chance to speak to Matt before they took the stage, thanks Matt much appreciate it and sorry I didn’t pick up the set list afterwards.

Playing to a room full of people intent on having a good night, regardless of any music being played, in a venue where very few know who you are, is not the easiest of gigs. So when the band took to the stage at 23:30, not much changed for most of the crowd. Very quickly the fusion of Costello and The Smiths emanating from the stage drew attention and almost like a Mexican wave, heads and bodies turned to see what and who was playing.

Visually The Heartbreaks are great to watch, particularly Joseph on drums, who reminded me of a viking axeman charging up the beach as his drum sticks crash down from above shoulder height, I must find out how many drum skins he gets through a year.

The set saw the band play some fairly intricate numbers, which they handle with great clarity. The upbeat tempo and swirling guitars, evidently resonated with the crowd as dancing broke out throughout the room and the material was met with considerable enthusiasm. I am not sure what it is about smoke machines in this part of London (see review of the roundhouse 360dgm showcase) but at one point Deakin (bass) disappeared from view, shrouded in a thick cloud.

On their first major tour, The Heartbreaks played really well and I wont be surprised to find them playing to fans across the country who know exactly who they are, in short-order.

Does their music transpose from digital to live? Absolutely and I would recommend getting out to see them as soon as you can.

I am looking forward to hearing more of the band. Thanks for organising the guest-list Daniel and thanks for a great set, to the guys.

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