LIVE: Black Marble @ Moth Club, London
London loves a bit of gloom: now summer’s passed, everyone nestles into the wintery misery taking sanctuary in pubs, clubs, venues, and wherever they don’t get rained on. And what better way to compound the lack of Vitamin D than check out the nostalgia-laced, cold-wave influenced Black Marble on a Saturday night.
That could go some way to explain the sold-out crowd crammed into Hackney’s Moth Club, yet the New Yorkers are anything but gloom merchants, instead scoring - what felt like - an 80s coming-of-age romance movie in real time.
And the retro VHS programmed projections that backed the silhouetted three-piece certainly fit the mise-en-scene, as did the venue blaring out Sisters Of Mercy before the band stepped on stage.
Now nearly a decade into the project and helmed by mustachioed multi-instrumentalist Chris Stewart, Black Marble are entering a new era it seems. Recently releasing their second album Fast Idol on Sacred Bones Records, Stewart seems to be leaning into more poppier, sunset-evoking songwriting - the album’s opener ‘Somewhere’ is a pure slice of shiny, pastel-painted synth-pop. It doesn’t feel like a cash-grabbing cynical move, however, rather his relocation to Los Angeles from Brooklyn is just starting to rub off.
Rhythmically robotic and sparsely lit, the three-piece aren’t quite ready to embrace that overbearing mainstream attention just yet, choosing to deploy their understated hits like ‘A Great Design’ and ‘Iron Lung’ much to the crowd’s evident appreciation. A crowd that wasn’t at all as homogenous as you’d perhaps expect from an industrial-infused synth-pop outfit - a few rogue meat heads, cyber goths, old rockers, you name it.
Based on their current direction and with a performance at London’s Fabric (of all places) to come next year, their audience is about to become much broader and much bigger no doubt.
To hear more from Black Marble, click here.