A sign of things to come; Don Broco blow away a sold-out Ally Pally.
It feels like a long time has passed since I fell in love with this band. 2013’s Priorities was unlike anything I had heard before – hard-hitting, funky and irresistibly cocky. I showed my friends the music video for the titular single from this debut album and joked, “hey, I’ve found the One Direction of rock music”. Although this at first strikes in a pejorative sense, all jokes aside, this has proved to be a huge compliment. What the Broco boys managed to do was transcend the prescriptive parameters of the rock music that I had previously been listening to. Similar to the influence that the likes of blink-182 and Green Day had on me in my younger years, Don Broco taught me not to take everything so seriously, to just have a laugh.
That’s exactly what myself and the other 10,399 people in the Ally Pally crowd did. As soon as the band ripped into Technology, the ground was shaking, we were frenetic and instantly engaged. What followed was an hour and a half of pure raucous fun – headbanging, shoulder barging, rubbish singing – the works. Frontman, Rob Damiani owned the stage, strutting with the aforementioned arrogance that we know and love – the crowd were putty in his hands. Both guys and gals swooned as he gyrated his way throughout the likes of Automatic and Superlove. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Damiani isn’t the most technically gifted of singers (or lyricists), however, he never pretends to be anything he isn’t and when you approach Don Broco’s music in the intended manner then the quality of the singing suits perfectly.
Impressive moments in the set were the acoustic renditions of Whole Truth and Yeah Man. Damiani sat down with axeman Si Delaney to switch the mood to something more poised and poignant. The effect that this had was terrific. The crowd were offered some respite from all their rampant movement and we were all afforded the opportunity to pause and appreciate the impressive musicianship of Don Broco that can, occasionally, be overlooked. Make no mistake, Delaney is a top-notch guitarist and this really did shine through when it was just him and his fingers dancing atop of an acoustic six string. The vibe was almost sensual (homage to their Club Sex days, no doubt) However, what struck me the most is how mature the decision was to include this break in the set– the ability to juxtapose the vigorous energy that they so frequently promote with something more melancholic in a matter of minutes is an impressive feat and one that very few bands can execute with such aplomb.
The show was littered with many more highlights. They closed with Pretty, before which, a gentleman was allowed to take to the stage and (successfully) propose to his wife – it was a touching moment and perfectly set up the make-believe wedding scenario around which the song is performed. Whilst the proposal was happening, the boys dived backstage to frantically slip into their white tuxedos and, just like that, The Prettyboys were back. Confetti and pyro made for a spectacle, not to mention the fact that this track is an absolute gut-buster. In a similar vein, Thug Workout never fails to impress. The push-up squad remain in full force and long may it continue, I sincerely hope that Broco never eschew this song from their setlist.
It must be said that the new material sounds incredible. Everybody was as invigorating as ever with a riff as infectious as they come. Stay Ignorant boasts an amazing chorus that sounds like it was plucked straight from Priorities, a definite favourite for fans both old and new. The most recent release, T-Shirt Song is another hit, and the show was actually being recorded in order to piece together a music video for the single. It was hilariously amazing to see fans rip their t-shirts off and swing them around their heads – just as the song instructs. I eagerly await the release of this music video, it’s going to look fantastic. I’m also brimming with excitement for the upcoming album – Don Broco have a 100% track record and show absolutely no signs of slowing down.