The Delays - Hoxton Bar and Grill
Live Review

The Delays – Hoxton Bar and Grill, London

The Hoxton Bar and Grill is the least likely gig venue in London. If you wanted to find Mr buisness, Mr London loadsamoney you’d come here to have a ridiculous champagne coctail and toast to a rather spiffing day at the office. The gravy train rolls in here night in, night out and they can’t get enough. If you venture further, past your disbelief, dirty indie gigs and moshpits exist in this crome and grey monstrosity. But maybe that’s what has become of supposed alternative music in the UK. Take your tie off, nod your head to some dreary songwriting non-genius and like Jo Whiley just love bloody everything. The first band on – who have been wiped from memory if they ever even made it in – were the epitomy of insincere, whiny crap the charts are infested with. The Delays are none of the above, their music fills you up with emotion. The city slickers have more money, with their cocks on the rocks but music is more important than that. Some people will never get it, which makes a day suffering travel with these clones worth it. London’s squirming with bordom now. The voice of the undergound got it bang on.

The Delays are not the best, they are very good but they are not going to sell out the arenas as they want to. That’s not going to happen. They aspire to it but who really wants to be flavour of Radio 1 for a month of Sundays? The Delays are neither commercial enough to sell big to the airheads nor creators of truly special, lasting music. They are stuck in no man’s land. A great live band, with recordings to match. All the passion but none of the luck.

The Delays nearly made it massive in 2004 with debut album ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’ and top twenty singles (not top three) set starter here ‘Long Time Coming’ and ‘Nearer than Heaven’, which the Delays also stuck in early; a glow of familiarity. There is another good EP ready for release and third album for 2008; the quality is suprising. Anything but one hit wonders; they played the old material and the set got better in the unknown. ‘Love Made Visable’ could still prove us all wrong and send the Delays in to the big time. Greg Gilbert’s voice is so high, so perfect and they create such a wall of beautiful noise that the tiny venue is enveloped with harmony. Greg’s brother Aaron is real happy, his keys follow his mood and soar as high as the vocal.

The Delays are possibly the feel good band. ‘Valentine’ of last year’s ‘You See Colours’ is a real eighties New Order fest; by the end you are floating on the electric synth strings. Unfortunately the album never registered and despite much talent real success will be a long time coming. They are still a band to love, now. Grinning at the fat cats as we go we’ll remember a wonderful gig. They’ll be up again soon, another nondescript night in the bar and grill. No one could accuse the Delays show of being that.

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