Live Review: Sourface + Danny Starr at Hoxton Underbelly, London

You know that four-piece band Sourface are advocates for another age a good while before any of them even touch an instrument. Paisley shirts. Confusingly cool sunglasses. A cohesive ensemble of hairstyles, which if described as hair-“cuts” would be a disservice to the gloriously unkempt manes they have curated. 

It may surprise you to learn Sourface are curators of more than their own hair, but also of an eclectic blend of the genres that kicked about in the 70’s. A little bit of funk, dashed with bossa-nova, but through Sourface these kinds of music are revived.

To put it simply, Sourface are a London indie band. What sets them apart, however, is a complete refusal to obey modern trends, and instead embrace the decades of music that preceded them. Because of this, Guitarist Ludo, keyboardist Matt, bassist Alex and drummer Tom are ambassadors over anything else. 

It seems fitting that in 2020, this music that reminisces of a time long before 2020 manages to sell out. There is a craving for it these days, and in London’s brief window of Tier 2, the four-piece outfit performed a tightly-rehearsed set for Hoxton Underbelly with Danny Starr.

Sourface present you their music with the vigour and energy only twenty-somethings can have. ‘21st Century Man’, a single off their upcoming EP, is a dreamy and patient song, but as a performance it’s far more tongue-in-cheek. At one point, the band rests in an instant to let Ludo egg the crowd on into cheers and jeers before crashing into the chorus. It’s an infectiously gleeful moment that prove Sourface deserve to be on stage. 

Sourface gave this and their other two released singles along with tunes from their unreleased EP Daytime’s Past with the exact same vigour, despite each belonging to their own sect of music. ‘Entre Innocus’ is a bass-heavy bop, which accompanied by Alex’s smoky vocals only makes you imagine yourself on the set of the Italian Job. ‘Sweet Dreams Suburbia’, a clear fan favourite, is hinged on its metal strings harmonising with innocent hums and whistles. 

This is summer music. An idyllic summer. Sunshine blooms over the horizon, the trees are green and so is the grass. But it is a season long gone, an era irretrievable, except through Sourface. What they have created is a reminder that things don’t have to be bleak, that the sun is just around the corner.

Daytime’s Past is set to be released in January and you can find them on Spotify here.

Review by Byron Gamble
Photography by Hugo Schaepelynck

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