LIVE: Don Broco / Noisy @ O2 Academy Brixton, London

By Adam Rosario

Don Broco have put in the hard miles throughout their career. From playing the now defunct Camden Barfly all the way to headlining Wembley Arena and Slam Dunk Festival, they have worked their way up. In support of their latest record ‘Amazing Things’, they have embarked on an extensive tour of the UK. ‘Amazing Things’ fell victim to the ramifications of Brexit and Adele, causing physical copies to be delayed until early 2022, but that doesn’t stop it being the most complete record the band have released to date.

Opening proceedings tonight are Noisy, fresh off of supporting You Me At Six on their tour, they bring energy and start the party in fine form. Bringing a mix of Garage and Rock, the band fit into this tour with ease, high energy and big choruses being the recipe of the night. ‘Young Dumb’ and ‘Put A Record On’ are the big highlights of the set with latest single ‘Rock N Roll Raver’ getting a great reception. Noisy are a “one to watch” band, and they’ll be looking to step up from support act to the headliner at venues of Brixton Academy’s size in the coming years.

‘Amazing Things’ has allowed Don Broco to be nostalgic – their music videos paying homage to some childhood memories, seeing the band take on the roles of Power Rangers as well as splicing themselves into memorable Bruce Willis scenes. The production tonight is arena level, with transporters that the Putty Patrol from Power Rangers would arrive in dotted around the stage, supported by next level lighting. The band start silhouetted like action figures before frontman Rob Damiani starts ‘Manchester Super Reds Number 1 Fan’ which sees the crowd and band in unanimously explode into the very definition of energy. Damiani struts round the stage with his mullet hair, looking every inch the retro rockstar, and guitarist Si Delaney hits his trademark jump kicks that have now become expectations of Broco shows. Their 16 song set leans heavily on the last two albums, but this is no bad thing. 

‘Technology’ still sounds arena filling while the moody and brooding ‘Gumshield’ brings  attitude to proceedings, with throbbing bass that rumbles throughout the venue, and sees the crowd screaming back the lyrics. Live shows have taken on a new meaning since the start of the pandemic, with crowds realising that this environment could be taken away at any point and the maximum effort needs to be made of every night in case it’s the last. ‘Uber’ sees Damiani spitting his lyrics with venom, while ‘Come Out To LA’ allows Matt Donnelly’s best Jamaican accent to show itself.

The business end of the set sees Damiani declare that he wants to break the crowdsurfing record of the tour so far, before shouting out the security and launching into ‘You Wanna Know’. ‘Endorphins’ gets a remix, culminating into old fan favourite ‘Thug Workout’ which then sees one of the songs of the year being aired in ‘Bruce Willis’. This is accompanied by the man himself being projected onto the screen behind the band and 5000 people screaming ‘Yippee-Ki-Yay’ which is exactly what 2021 needed.

Closing on ‘Everybody’ and the feel good ‘T-Shirt’ song which sees a sea of shirts being swung over heads and the show is concluded.

Tonight, Don Broco prove that they are a live act to be reckoned with. Regardless of the tribulations they’ve had with the release of ‘Amazing Things’ they’ve put on a show to remember, like they always do. They’re fast becoming one of the most consistent live bands in the UK today, whether that be a headliner or a support band. It only feels like a matter of time until they’re an arena only headline act and shows like tonight will be a rarity.