This is rock meets electro in a visceral, wondrous attack on the senses. This is Don Broco. And, it’s clear everyone is in agreement with me as the crowd bayed with anticipation when the lights were dropped at the UEA Nick Rayns LCR venue in Norwich on the 12th February, signalling the band slipping onto the stage.
This venue holds great poignancy for the band, it’s where they performed their first ever gig as Don Broco itself. So, it makes sense that lead singer, Rob Damiani screams out straight away, ‘Fine F***ing Fantastic to be here! Back to our favourite place!’ as they got started with their first song, ‘Pretty’ from their new album ‘Technology’. They play so lovely and loud and what transmits is just pure fun. The beautiful guitar work is fast, frenetic and couples seamlessly with Damiani’s vocals and layered harmonies which produces a sound that is wholly loved song to song without exception.
What’s more, is that the energy never dies, never slows. The band is a constant source of it that delivers a tight, slick performance, engaging the audience, which in turn powers the music even further. Listening to the older songs from previous albums as they made their way through the set, you can see the progression they are making, it’s clear this group are playing out a modern rock band story that is fresh and unique and one you definitely want to continue following.
The new material from this latest album has more a gritty, raw and rigorous structure to it but with plenty of clear hooks that makes it easy to find a place in their music for yourself. And, with hints of electronic sound and funk undertones at times, the mixture is eclectic and complex while fully accessible.
Damiani is the perfect frontman and host for the night too as he is constantly engaging and instructing the crowd to do things like making room to dance, getting as low as they can in order to jump up high on the next song or line of the lyrics, or turning the lights up to get a group shot of the audience. It all feels fully present in the moment, not just marking time, which is how it can seem with so many lead singers. You can see why the Bedford lads have such a following and why ‘Technology’ has found its way to their first ever Top 5 album in the charts.
For their encore, they first played ‘Come Out To LA’, which is a personal favourite, and got everyone dancing madly, stoking the slamming sounds yet again before finishing with ‘T-Shirt Song’, leaving the audience on a solid high to conclude the night.
This is a fast-rising band whose sound is what you look for in contemporary musicians. And, with a front man who kindles the crowd to the right temperature to evoke inspiration and enjoyment in equal measure, there is no limit here for them and we should all follow them to the dizzy heights they will surely hit.
Photos by ©PremiumPhotographic