Live Review: Don Broco – Pumphrey’s Cellar Bar, Newcastle, October 18th 2010

Well, this sucks – Pumphrey’s Cellar Bar has fallen fate to new licensing restrictions disallowing them to have anyone under the age of 18 inside. It’s a hefty blow, but there’s still a decent enough turn out for Don Broco, halfway through their aptly named Dreamboy’s On Tour… tour.  Tasty!

In Oceans are clear contenders for the band of the night tonight – their set is fun, raw, and above all else, really, really tight. Reeling off tracks from their recently released EP with a La Dispute-ish twang, they really do a number on the growing crowd, who seem very interested indeed. The venue restrictions see the quintet packed tightly into a corner but it doesn’t seem to bother; they plug away with some tight new gems thrown in amongst the likes of the brilliant Sharks and the massive seven minute monster that is Mating Rituals. Matthew Cooper‘s vocal chords are on great form tonight and really compliment Carl Bonas and Kye Walker‘s seriously impressive mastership of their dual guitars, frantically tip-tapping in and out of the band’s progressively more zig-zagged musical stories and mad time signatures. A healthy round of applause from the few who’ve made it inside past the age limit is well deserved, and it’ll be nice to see how a wider audience views this special talent on a larger stage!

My Extraordinary, on the other hand, experience some mild technical problems, but soon overcome it to pull out a blinder of a set. Amp malfunctions and such are no such biggie; when your songs sound as massive as one of those 1000KG anvils in old cartoons when they get going, it’s not something to dwell on. The band have come a long way since their days of playing Lostprophets and All Time Low covers – they’ve grown into a well-rounded outfit capable of some brilliant and very mature songs for their age. Words is a sure fire singalong, and Ant Thompson‘s greatly improved vocals really hit the spot for History – accompanied by some major classical sampling, it makes for a great performance and a very professional show – it goes to show there’s some brilliant talent in the North East, and they need to be found soon!

You can’t help but think this set – and this gig as a whole – would fare far better in an all-ages environment – kids would go mental for this set, and it’s unlucky that it got changed last minute – but now a certain corporate giant just up the road from here seems to have the monopoly on that policy right now, it’s getting a bit harder. Nonetheless, Don Broco make the most of what they’ve got, and make a great big racket doing it. Kicking things off with the hilarious Thug Workout, it’s not the mental reaction you’d expect, but people are enjoying it – none more so than vocalist Rob Damiani, as he pogo’s around the floor infront of spectators like a man posessed. The band debut new tracks from a forthcoming EP which seem to have matured with leaps and bounds whilst still retaining that fun, kooky Donny Broco sound. Oldies get a better reception tonight, with the raving rantings of the story of what Mackie’s got with Living The Dream. The four-piece work so well together as a team, each member sharing vocal duties at some point or other over the course of half an hour, and with a final whisk of new single Dreamboy, Don Broco are gone as quickly as they arrived – leaving the eardrums wanting more, and soon!

- George Cannings.

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