The array of concept haircuts, cut-off denim shorts and muscle Ts in the queue at Camden’s Underworld leaves you in no doubt as to who is playing the sold-out show here. Over the last year and a bit, the lad rockers Don Broco have gone from strength to strength (and then some), and this sell out tour is just another sign of things to come.
Hey Vanity are the first to take to the stage. They are a high energy foursome that know how to get the crowd involved. Playing Wading Through Dreams and Terry Tibbs from their new EP, their songs are refreshingly simple and melodic with catchy big choruses and their cover of Outkast ’s Hey Ya really gets the audience going.
When second support Mallory Knox come on stage, it is clear why there is so much hype surrounding them at the moment. Fast and furious, their songs are loud and heavy with melodically poppy choruses and lots of ‘woahhhs’. Playing Lighthouse , Wake Up and Death Rattle from their new album Signals, they also hit the mark with Oceans from the Pilot EP .
By the time the Broco boys appear, the crowd is well warmed-up. They launch straight into lad anthem Priorities, the crowd singing those ‘bros before hos’ lyrics word for word. The band are at the top of their game: confident, energetic and clearly loving it. They smash out track after track off their album Priorities, with frontman Rob Damiani right up front leaning over the crowd. The entirety of Underworld is jumping through the whole show and there is a never ending stream of crowd surfers being propelled onto the small stage. Ultimate pretty boy and lad Damiani—the man guys want to be and girls want to be with—incites some kind of hysteria in the 14+ crowd, with the girls in the front pawing at him throughout the set.
Highlights include newest single The Whole Truth, Here’s the Thing and classic older track Beautiful Morning. Damiani’s distinctive deep honeyed tones are on form and the whole band’s stage presence is undeniably electric. It wouldn’t be a Don Broco show without the typical moshpit olympics and the Push Up Squad are on hand to earn lad points with their circle pits antics. Encoring with Yeah Man (a bit of momentum is lost here when attempting girls vs boys singalong), Hold On and Fancy Dress, the band close the show on a high.
It is clear that the Broco boys have really honed their craft since releasing Priorities. The screaming audience of infatuated females and the gunshow from the copycat lads is testament to the cultural sway that their ladcore has at the moment. An awesome show.
Written by: Angie Audretsch
Photos by: Graham Berry