Promising young bands play to single-figure audiences across London every night, but for it to happen to a critically acclaimed, cult-adored Japanese musician signed to a well-respected indie label and already with a clutch of albums to his name is unusual. Unfortunately, however, that’s the hand that’s been dealt to Grimm Grimm on the Wednesday of freshers’ week at Goldsmiths College’s local pub venue, as he battles against a gaggle of excitable art-school teenagers to entertain the remaining handful of ears.
Given the circumstances, though, it’s a success: Grimm Grimm’s ethereal pedal-heavy acoustic guitar is arresting enough to elevate itself from a character-free pub at the end of the A2, and his accompanying bleeps and loops make pleasingly abstracted daydream music. Despite that, though, it’s hard to ignore the weak pitter-patter of applause that arrives, a beat too late, after each track, and the amiably blokey banter drifting over from the pool table. Grimm Grimm manages to do so, and with admirable stoicism, but the overriding impression is that this is neither his time, nor his place. Tough gig.