Don Broco @ KoKo [18/04/2013]

By Tom Aylott

Don Broco by

The staggering queue of jubilant punters waiting impatiently outside of the north London venue provides evidence for the Don Broco’s stratospheric climb to the top. Only fourteen months back, the band had found themselves on the exact same stage as second support for Four Year Strong, behind A Loss For Words.

Judging by the horde of dedicated fans ready to relentlessly pour into the confined walkways of London’s Koko, the past twelve months have done wonders for the Bedford lads. Following on from the well-received release of ‘Priorities’, and with tickets for the show selling out fast enough to even surprise the band, tonight undoubtedly marks the pinnacle of the boy’s career to date.

With die-hard fans already packing out the downstairs floor space, Decade are fortunate enough to perform to a much bigger crowd than is normally afforded to opening acts. Rising to the challenge with ease, the band blast through a short set of retrospective emotional rock; managing to avoid sounding dated while driving through the associated vocal style and equally catchy and crushing guitar riffs. Alex Sears takes centre stage with faultless vocals supported by incredibly tight musicianship. This tour could easily provide the platform to see Decade move up the bill in the near future.

Half way through their set Pure Love frontman Frank Carter surveys the crowd before alluding to the general air of confusion. It is reasonably accurate considering the mismatch between them and Don Broco – one building their reputation through hardcore punk before injecting it back into boisterous rock and roll, while the other parades an altogether more cleanly cut image. What they do share is their ability to mesmerise a crowd.

Almost completely removing the show from the stage in favour of stage-dives, crowd walks and unquestionably dangerous behaviour – Carter at one point pulled back by security as he threatens to jump off the first floor balcony – tonight’s main support set is all about spectacle. Although the crowd are clearly entertained, the exuberant shenanigans distract from the music. Tracks such as ‘Bury My Bones’ and new single ‘The Hurricane’ are suitably filthy, however the set is all about showmanship over sound.

Conversely, complete with flashing blue strobe lights and an escalating intro, Don Broco literally bound onto stage in a wave of adoration. Frontman Rob Damiani commands attention placed firmly front and centre while Delaney and Doyle purposefully thrash across the stage. Damiani’s low vocal register compliments the laddish demeanour of the band, intensified by the abundance of finger guns and swagger.

This characteristic however only serves to add a level of charm to the overall performance. Rather than portraying excessive bravado, each band member appears to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, generating a party atmosphere that draws the audience in. This is not simply a gig; this is a homecoming-of-sorts and an immense celebration.

Fortunately the music matches the performance as Don Broco deliver an almost faultless sound. Despite the energy on stage fatigue remains firmly locked away. The energy and immediacy of the performance is mirrored through the lively song composition and well-delivering timing. Even as ‘You Got It Girl’ brings the tempo down the atmosphere remains electric.

As on-stage banter drifts into the crowd, resulting in the compulsory circle pit, (friendly) wall of death and the first ever (at least to our knowledge) human pyramid push up (yes, you heard it right), Don Broco have the crowd eating out of their hands. The boys engage the audience throughout, often breaking songs up to incite various sing-alongs. This does not hinder the flow of the show – instead tonight walks the fine line between a gig and a party, and the Koko crowd are happy to be invited to both.


All photos by Graham Berry
Don Broco gallery
Pure Love gallery
Pure Love