András Droppa performing with infectious energyShona Hoey with permission for Varsity

This year, the Six Six bar released a statement outlining their dire financial situation and a real chance of permanent closure, a potential disaster for Cambridge’s alternative music scene. If you haven’t ventured to West Cambridge before, or are looking for any excuse to leave your library-shaped prison, grab a ticket to support this local venue. If my night of András Droppa is anything to go by, a gig there is unbeatable for a fun night out.

If you aren’t yet acquainted with the name András Droppa, you absolutely should be. First making a name in his village home of Bideford, Devon, it makes you wonder how you haven’t heard of him before… Countryside or, well, Cambridge countryside, he is not one to miss. This isn’t what you might normally expect of a hard rock band. As a bit of a hard rock philistine, I envisioned some experimental face paint a la Paul Stanley and some Def Leppard style leather jackets, possibly more good image than good music.

Beer number three might have mellowed me out, but I was still pleasantly surprised. Droppa as the enigmatic frontman drove the (slightly sparse) crowd crazy, and even I was close to converting to the metal lifestyle. What the crowd lacked in numbers, however, they more than made up for in hair. I watched those around me with short hair darting envious glances at the mix of newfound Droppa fanatics giving themselves whiplash. Bring back headbanging is the takeaway message of this gig.

“Bring back headbanging is the takeaway message of this gig”

Tastefully realising Droppa’s originals were bassist Alex Jones and drummer Robin Blake, who also both pursue their own musical endeavours separately. For Blake, this is a far stretch from his usual array of jazzy pursuits, and even further from the inspired bongo solo he performed at the Fitzwilliam Winter Ball. He has had a haircut since, so my one criticism would be that the energy he brought to the set could not be as convincingly translated via hair movement. Jones recently released an EP as the best and only bassist in Creature of Habit, bringing the expected nonchalance of a bassist who knows they’re good to the Surrey-based band. He appeared effortlessly in control of his instrument and undisturbed by the mosh pit unfolding beneath him.

If their musicianship wasn’t enough, they all study ridiculously challenging degrees as far away from music as possible. Nerdy must be the new Nirvana – you wouldn’t catch most of the music tripos having as much fun as this trio. I have licence to say that: I am, in fact, a subscriber to the music tripos. If nerdy is the new Nirvana, I want more and more. Although there seemed to be a slight miscommunication in outfit choices, with Droppa dressed to the rock-nines, assorted chain necklaces and all black, contrasted with a very casual white t-shirt and jeans from the other two members. Some matching black nail polish would not have gone amiss.


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There were two highlights to this set, if I haven’t convinced you already that Droppa has a vibrant future ahead of him. “Are you ready to sing along?” he shouted over the speaker, which exploded with a drum beat and bass lick. Oh, that did it alright. A beautiful culmination of everyone singing, “Help me! Oh Help ME! Help me to find my FAITH!” ensued and brought a sense of fun to the gig that sets it apart from others. It may be serious, but Droppa and Co manage to do a fantastic job of toeing the line between impressively technical playing and some slightly indulgent guitar solos, balancing self-awareness and infectious energy.