Looking around the empty pub it seemed unlikely that Brooklyn rockers Oxford Collapse would be the skinny-jeaned, curly haired chap, or that head-banded trendy in the corner. Of course not. These guys had graduated from the US school of indie rock and had the tattoos and beards to prove it.
The half-empty venue did nothing to dissuade the band from kicking out 'all the hits,' as smart mouthed, charismatic front man Michael Pace led them through the best of last years Remember The Night Parties - with Lady Lawyers, In Your Volcano and Kenny Can't Afford It amongst the songs getting enthusiastic renditions, complete with guitar heroism from Pace and bassist Adam Rizer.
The Boys Go Home from A Good Ground was also dusted off, as well as previews of several tracks from forthcoming album Bits. The sound might have sucked, and the under-informed crowds of London may have missed out, but the band have certainly nabbed themselves a spot in my list of most anticipated releases for 2008.
"This is a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes and try and keep up." Once that cymbal is fixed of course.