Review: Don Broco – HMV Oxford Street, 02/02/18
To celebrate the release of Don Broco’s third album, Technology, the four Bedford boys decided to precede their UK headline tour with a series of acoustic sets and signings.
With the band arriving 30 minutes later than expected, eager fans were treated to a playback of Technology in full via the speaker system. As it was the album’s release day, it’s likely that the majority of people in the room were hearing the songs for the first time, and the general consensus seemed to be a positive one. Heads were nodding, mouths were moving along to the words from the previously released tracks, and the half an hour wait passed in the blink of an eye.
Vocalist Rob Damiani excused the band’s tardiness by explaining that he’d been doing a photoshoot for a special Technology jacket designed by the band’s friend, Meg. Rushing through the world’s quickest soundcheck, guitarist Simon Delaney melted the crowd’s heart with his polite request for more sound in his wedge, before Damiani finally asked the question on everyone’s mind: “What we doing first?”.
As this acoustic set was arranged to celebrate the release of Technology, it was unsurprising that the three songs the band chose to play were all from their newest album.
Kicking off the set with T-Shirt Song, Damiani expressed his appreciation to the one fan at the back of the crowd who was swinging a t-shirt around their head during the song, before he started laughing. “You brought a spare?” he asked, to which the guy responded with a cheer. Don Broco fans come prepared.
Between songs, Damiani attempted to get the crowd to shout out their favourite song on Technology, but with one eager beaver screaming “Priorities!” the results were inconclusive.
Deciding to play Stay Ignorant, the acoustic version that they performed gave the song a completely new vibe:
The band then shared the fact that they’d attempted to play an acoustic version of Thug Workout – their heaviest song – at a house show in the past. Damiani physically cringed as he recalled the moment fans separated into a wall of death, crawling across the living room carpet towards each other. “It really didn’t translate,” Donnelly admitted, before Damiani said, “It’s probably on Youtube… But don’t find it! It’s embarrassing!”.
Last, but certainly not least, it was time for most recent single Come Out To LA. They had one last chance to plug the album, with Damiani telling the crowd that it was the perfect Valentine’s day gift before Donnelly quipped, “Get a head start on Christmas!”. It’s obvious that the band are proud of the album they’ve created, and so they should be: Technology has been three years in the making, and it was worth every second of the wait.
With drummer and co-vocalist Matt Donnelly taking a central role on Come Out To LA, it sounded vastly different to the two other songs they performed:
Seeing the band in a stripped back environment like this really showcased all of their individual talents. Donnelly’s voice soared while Damiani’s vocal, normally overshadowed by the screams of thousands of fans, sounded better than ever. Delaney’s intricate guitar work is always a delight, but bassist Tom Doyle proved that he’s the glue that holds the band together. Don Broco are a well-oiled machine.
If you have the chance to see the band on their UK headline tour, I’d highly recommend it. The tour starts tomorrow, though, so don’t sleep on getting tickets: the majority of dates are already sold out!
You should also make sure to pick up a copy of Technology. (Disclaimer: if you use my Amazon Affiliate link I’ll receive a few pennies, but at no extra cost to you!).