Review: Don Broco @ Newcastle o2 Academy 2

Tonight is definitely a night to be remembered in British rock music. It’s a shame that the show is in such a small venue, as shown by the amount of fans rather than touts who are desperately asking if anyone in the smallish queue has a spare ticket. The Priorities tour is completely sold out and it’s not surprising when you listen to the album, Don Broco have produced something very special and Newcastle is buzzing tonight in anticipation of seeing the lads behind the tunes in person.

Doors open late but the crowd is pretty carefree knowing that they’re going to experience three excellent British bands tonight. Once most people have a beer in hand it’s time for the first on the bill, Hey Vanity. In no time the band set the mood for the night, encouraging and joining in with the lad-ish banter. Musically, they’re pretty good too. Although still relatively unknown (for now), Hey Vanity aren’t going to let this opportunity to show us what they’re made of get past them. The riffs are excellent and you can’t help but find yourself nodding or bouncing along at least a little bit. The band already have a few dedicated fans in the crowd and there is no doubt that a few more will be leaving as fans, if their own music wasn’t enough they top it off with a respectable cover of Outkast’s Hey Ya which has everyone singing and bouncing. It’s hardly even 8 O’clock and already everyone is having the time of their lives.

Next up are Mallory Knox, surely the band of 2013 judging by the amount of coverage they’ve gotten since the release of debut album Signals and the amount of fans in the crowd tonight. It’s hard not to have heard of Mallory Knox in the small world of British rock bands and right now it feels like their own gig; with the amount of people who know every word to and go crazy for both their old and new songs. The band are on top form, performing impeccably. They look as humble as anything, with grins on their faces in surprise at the solid reaction from everyone in the room. Their music has the perfect amount of gang vocals with “whoa’s” at the end of songs to unite the whole room in song. Finishing up with their newest single Lighthouse, the band leave everyone with smiles on their faces and if anyone wasn’t aware of why Mallory Knox are supposedly the next big thing, it’s clear to us now.

Finally, it’s the time we’ve all been waiting for, and Don Broco grace the stage to a quiet intro which escalates as they join in with their instruments one by one, before transitioning straight into Priorities. There’s no other feeling like being in a room with a few hundred other fans, all yelling “MAAAAAAAAAAAATE” when the chorus kicks in; hands in the air, not one person is standing still. If you think Don Broco sound impressive on CD, just wait until you see them in person. They have just the right amount of arrogance and cheek in their performance, which sees them bouncing around on stage before all stopping in sync and going into what can only be described as some sort of routine, all walking in the spot in unison with their trademark swagger. The night never has a dull moment, as the band produce tune after tune no one seems to stop to catch their breath. The many highlights include old favourites such as Beautiful Morning and Dreamboy but the biggest reaction comes for the newer songs which have everyone singing as loud as they can. The band feed off this and even make time for an audience participation section in Yeah Man, pitting the boys off against the girls to sing separate parts of the chorus. Yet it’s hard to stop everybody from just singing every word regardless. The night ends with Hold On and new single Fancy Dress which has the most impressive riff of the night. The crowd turns into one giant mosh pit as singer Rob Damiani creates a wall of death and everyone loses their inhibitions. Although the band would be just as impressive in a larger venue, and could certainly sell out bigger venues, the crazy atmosphere with pretty much everyone involved in the moshing could only be found in a room this small and Don Broco have owned the night.

It’s inevitable that they will be back soon and encouraging the same mayhem, probably in a bigger venue with even more hit songs under their belts.

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