in my experience, there are two kinds of bands you're likely to see in a pub.
firstly, there's the band which is designed to appeal to 'the crowd' - they'll typically be loud & impressive, with lots of guitar solos in practically every song (with the lead guitarist taking at least three axes with them onto the stage) and the obligatory drum solo in the last one, guaranteed to get all da chix cheering along.
then there's the band which not only the crowd will like, but also any musicians in the audience too. not for this kind of band are the easy wins, the rock clichés. the muso's band relies on quality of performing and originality of songwriting to impress. it is into this category which david garside & band firmly fit.
the band is basically an acoustic band - acoustic guitar & electric piano (Nick Wiley) being the mainstay, but although it's an acoustic band the sound is still a big sound, ably assisted by drums from Danny Howes & the electric bass of Matthew Cheale.
the actual music is just precisely the kind of songs i always like to hear; not your textbook verse chorus verse chorus dullness, but individual, unique songs in which each one tells its own story, and the music just as integral to the telling of the story as the lyrics (which unfortunately i couldn't hear last night) - think pulp or the divine comedy for the kind of thing i mean. it was also clear that the songs would work equally well whether they were performed as solo singer + guitar, with a band as in last night, and even with a full symphony orchestra alongside the band, if david ever feels that way inclined.
the nature of the material also means it would work equally well in a variety of venues, be it a pub, the academy, or the theatre at the mac. though i would say there's a potential pitfall for promoters, as the contrast between this band & the loud straightahead clone rock band which followed showed neither in their best lights.
no review of the concert would be complete without referring to david's trousers - as a piece of advice, just don't try this at home, kids...