Don Broco @ Camden Barfly (gig review) 13.08.2012

This was probably the best gig I’ve been to, and it was the album release show that you had to preorder the album to win tickets to. Luckily, I won the tickets and headed up to Camden eagerly anticipating a great show, as I’d seen them (supporting) before, and they were excellent. It was perhaps a shame that the gig was on the same day as the album came out, because many of the new songs weren’t too well known, and they said that they couldn’t play every song on it yet because they’ve not learnt them all!

The doors were open at 7:30 and they had us waiting around until nearly 9:00, but boy was it worth it. It was good to meet some other people with similar music taste and I think everyone had a good time – even my +1 who didn’t know the band at all (he’s a ‘gig whore’).

It was a great shame that they only played for a little over an hour, but to be fair they only have one album and one EP and a few additional songs, so it was understandable. I’m quite glad there were no supports, because Don Broco were exhausting! The atmosphere inside the Barfly was incredible, and the songs were performed faultlessly.

These guys are doing so well on the UK iTunes rock chart and are getting national radio and BBC coverage too, so hopefully they’ve got a good future ahead of them, and I’ll be proud to say I’ve seen them twice already.

9/10

Futures, Don Broco and Natives (gig review)

This gig was in the London club XOYO and it was of three fairly new bands, namely Natives, Don Broco and the headliners Futures. I arrived a few minutes after 8 and unfortunately missed a song or two of Natives’ set, but I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it.

 

A little background on the bands:

Natives (formerly Not Advised) are a young band from Southampton who have moved from a slightly more commercial sound when they were Not Advised to a more rocky impression as Natives. I think they have been good under both names, by the way. This performance ignited the crowd more than I expected for the openers, but they were very good. I was a little bit disappointed that they played no Not Advised music, but their new tracks certainly sound promising. Listen to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewrnL0K5KT0

7/10

 

Next up were heavy Bedford rockers Don Broco, who have been around the block for a good few years now without actually releasing a full length album. Unaware of their first EP, I had only previously heard the 2011 release Big Fat Smile, and consequently did not know all of the songs they played. However, their performance was exceptional. I wasn’t expecting them to be so well known by so much of the audience, but it was insane how much energy came into the room as soon as they started playing. The highlight for me was the big single ‘Beautiful Morning’, but I loved every track. The lead singer, Rob Damiani, created him own mosh pit and commanded us all to take part, and then later on, many guys got down to the ground to do press ups – a most bizarre experience but it was great, a very different gig to others I’ve been to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOzJvLpEzPQ

9/10

 

After much work setting up, Buckinghamshire-born Futures came on, lead by frontman Ant West. Recently separated from their label, the performance started off on a low note, which was disappointing as I love ‘Start a Fire’, which came first. The crowd didn’t really get into the music at this point or for the next few tracks, which was a great shame. Perhaps this was because many of the early songs were from the recently released ‘The Karma Album’. However, as Futures progressed, the crowd got  more and more energetic and this was epitomised by the final two tracks that were favourites Sal Paradise and The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and the atmosphere erupted. Karma Satellite was performed brilliantly by West also, and he managed to merge Swim Teams and Video Games (by Lana Del Rey), which they’ve covered on a YouTube video, excellently. Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable night, although I have to say I think the show was stolen somewhat by the second support act.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se-6uP7aVwg

8/10

Deaf Havana, The Swellers and The Dangerous Summer – 26th April, 2012

My first visit to Camden’s Electric Ballroom was a very positive one. I went to see one band I’ve known for a few years (The Dangerous Summer), a band I’d only recently started listening to (The Swellers) and a band I’d already seen live and loved the new direction they’d taken (Deaf Havana). 

All three bands were excellent, but the atmosphere too was insane. The audience was mainly 16-22 year old rockers and the like, as it often is, and they did not disappoint either. 

The show kicked off with a The Dangerous Summer set that was unfortunately not too well known by the audience. Nonetheless, the band put in a stellar performance, and the songs sounded great. The highlights had to be The Permanent Rain (my favourite TDS song) and No One’s Gonna Need You More, a song off their recent album, War Paint. 7/10

Then came The Swellers, a band I did not know too well. Their songs, however, sounded familiar after I’d bought their new album (Good for Me) on the cheap a few weeks in advance. Most of the set list was from that album, as it happens, and the atmosphere was, appropriately (for the venue name), electric, making for a great performance from the Michigan outfit. 7.5/10

Last but certainly not least came Deaf Havana. When I saw them for the first time, back in October 2010 (for a measly £8, with two excellent supports, I might add) they had a screamer in the band and music that was primarily screaming. Unbelievably, I didn’t know much of their stuff before that gig, but there were some memorable songs back then and I ended up really liking their music, despite not normally liking screaming. But the band lost Ryan Mellor, the screamer, and instead took a different, more rocky and acousticcy path, leading to the much anticipated release of Fools and Worthless Liars, an excellent album by anyone’s standards. Most of the songs played in Camden were off that new album, but a couple of the old classics were played (sin the screaming), and they were Friends Like These and Nicotine and Alcohol Saved My Life. It was a completely different experience. I must admit, I think I prefer those two songs with screaming, but the new album certainly without. During Little White Lies, the female vocals could not be heard because of a technical failure, and this was certainly a disappointment, but did not ruin the show by any means. 8.5/10

Overall, I thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable gig and I think everyone else enjoyed it just as much as me. If you haven’t heard of any of these bands, and are into rock music, I certainly recommend you give them a listen.