Don Broco – London Borderline

By paul

Don Broco
Friday 2 April 2010
Esquires, Bedford
Support: Scholars + Lecarla + Tonight We?re Electric

Even at doors there?s a party atmosphere to Esquires tonight. It?s a bank holiday; the first day of a four day weekend; the first day of Easter break if you?re that young (and many here are); the first night of an extensive UK tour; a hometown show; and it?s Don Broco singer Rob Damiani?s birthday. Cue balloons, beer and festivities. Oh, and there?s the small matter of a gig to be played.

With keyboards stacked high, it?s pretty obvious what you?re going to get from openers TONIGHT WE?RE ELECTRIC. Firmly lodged into that overcrowded bracket of keyboard/synth speared pop-rock, the Bedfordshire quintet is all dance beats, sugary choruses and glowsticks-in-the-crowd. It?s completely inoffensive and not all that memorable. Still, the band is young and there?s time to find its feet still. First step, a little more energy on stage, please. This is a genre in which you?re rewarded for hyperactivity after all.

LECARLA was apparently once described by Bruce Dickinson as ?Paramore meets Bullet For My Valentine?. That?s actually fairly accurate, with the Milton Keynes quintet flitting between pop-punk harmonies and a more bruising rock sound. Tonight though, it seems a little stale. A lot of it?s probably down to the fact that singer Lizy Dent is suffering from Tonsillitis leaving her vocal strained and the band not firing on all cylinders.

You wouldn?t know this was the first night of tour by the performance SCHOLARS puts on. The Hemel Hempstead quartet is tight to say the least. The band plays power-pop fused rock music, coming across like a mixture of Hundred Reasons, Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World, whilst hinting at something a little more indie-rock. On stage there?s an energy that bookmarks the band, whilst a trademark mid-song faux argument adds a little humour. All very enjoyable. Scholars have been playing in the Herts/Beds region for a few years now so it?s nice to see that a wider audience can be reached this tour.

Starting a tour in your hometown may very well be cheating but you can?t blame DON BROCO who from the off get a real hero?s welcome from the crowd. It?s hard to tell who?s more boisterous, the Esquires faithful or the band itself. With birthday boy Damiani strutting the stage with floppy-hair and cartoon strongman vest, the quartet rouses with a sound that varies from pop-punk through hard rock and nu-metal. This is a band not afraid to admit to growing up to Limp Bizkit.

Tonight we?re treated to a clutch of new songs. The band has been holed-up recording ahead of a new album dropping some time this year. Beside these new tracks we get the likes of ?Living the Dream? and ?What?cha Gonna Do??, a couple of big-hitting numbers that have the crowd screaming along. And then there?s closer ?Thug Workout?. True the gimmick video had a lot of legs in these parts but even live the song is a real beast and it captures perfectly what the band is all about; lots of energy, big sounds, and a whole heap of fun. That goes for live and on recording.

Don Broco knows that there?re not going to be too many nights on the tour this busy, so the most is made of things. Tomorrow?s a day off, perfect to nurse those birthday hangovers, and then the touring business gets serious on Sunday. Catch this one somewhere. Anywhere.

Alex Hambleton