Oberhofer arrived in England with his/their reputation bubbling over nicely. The release of album 'Time Capsules II' has arrived, and the Americans are subsequently receiving the coverage their material warrants (including our recent In Demand piece).
Given this, there are few viable excuses to account for the London crowd's subdued response. This was a performance of album tracks at Brick Lane's Rough Trade store and, granted, the anomalous spring sunshine has passed, but it seemed there was noone in the venue willing to reflect the energy Brad Oberhofer was transmitting.
And it's not like we hadn't been warned. The guys haven't achieved nationwide recognition, but even a cursory glance at their behaviour would be enough to inform you of their antics. As has been reported, what's most immediately striking about Oberhofer are his Beach Boys melodies, but also the ebullience with which he plays them.
When previously asked what's most difficult about playing eleven shows in five days, Brad facetiously answered "Having too much fun". A funny response, but one you can't help but draw some truth from. Last night they seemed determined to enjoy themselves as much as possible, even if it meant confronting the crowd's midweek apathy - "My amp's just warming up...I hope you guys are too".
Having only ever heard them online, it was pleasing to discover the added texture a live performance grants them. They didn't deviate from the material currently out there, but the night was revelatory nonetheless.
You would have thought Oberhofer's indie sound was suited to a venue of this size, but in truth it had difficulty containing him. After jumping around the restrictive stage as best he could he then took to the crowd and, while his band played an instrumental introduction, he stealthily snuck up onto the shop's small balcony where he clapped but thankfully didn't dive down.
They began with 'oOoO' (if we've learnt anything, it's that there's an insufficient number of vowels in the language to cater for Brad's hooks) and built towards their biggest song to date, 'Away Frm U'.
The enthusiasm infused into the evening was eventually sufficient to alter the crowd's previous reticence, yet all remained comparatively indolent in the company of Oberhofer, who bounced off the stage talking of what a beautiful sunny day it had been (it hadn't) and how noone should sleep, ever.