• Jon Hawkins

Don Broco, a Night for Everybody.

Their set at Nottingham's Motorpoint arena quickly turned into a cinematic atmosphere for filming their latest music video.

The Bedford 4 piece returned to Nottingham last night, a city which is deeply rooted in the bands past, given that singer Rob Damiani and drummer Matt Donnelly both studied at University here.

Such influences became clear, as they announced that the“Push up squad” as part of their infamous Thug Workout originated from the basement of Nottingham’s Rock city, whilst T Shirt song, is based on Rob’s experiences in local nightclub Ocean.

They followed the US metal core set of support Issues, and energetic Pop Punk performance of Wrexham’s Neck Deep

Both performing respectably and doing a fantastic job of getting the crowed active.

Their set featured a perfect blend of the works off their latest album Technology, and their previous works Automatic and Priorities. The set featured upbeat songs which encouraged an already energetic crowd to mosh, circle pit, and crowd surf, and they did a fantastic job of maintaining the engagement of the audience for the entirety of the set. In contrast, the band were also not afraid to show their technical and vocal abilities, performing significantly slower, more intricate songs.

Examples of this are illustrated through active songs such as Come Out To LA, Everybody and Greatness, quickly being contrasted with an emotional acoustic version of Further.

Vocally, the band were able to maintain their addictive and quirky style live, as always by Rob being matched by Drummer Matt’s high pitched backing vocals. This came across in distinctive songs such as You Wanna Know, which earned the 4 the respect they have today.

Instrumentally the performance was flawless. In particular, guitarist Simon Delaney did an unbelievable job of switching quickly between guitars; being able to play an acoustic segment of Further, before immediately being able to switch to electronics, with ease and no pause. This technique proved effective, and is something I have never seen before.

Graphically, the band boasted a high tech 3 screen setup with an extravagant lighting system. The screen gave the band an opportunity to make references to themes used in their music video, such as cans of chilli, pictures of their infamous cowboy, and a reference to Bedford; which relates well with their continuous attempt to put Bedford on the map. This was cleverly integrated into the lyrics of Pretty, which asks

“Bedford, where’s Bedford? Come on!”

This high tech graphics system turned a normal gig into a cinematic experience, over and above usual expectations.

Of course, this was no ordinary date of the Don Broco tour. Given their close connections with the city, the band also took the opportunity to record a music video for their latest single: Half Man, Half God. They used this opportunity to showcase their famous cowboy, who was spotted on numerous occasions. This made the experience even more cinematic, given the crowd was asked to get involved in shooting the video. Performing antics such as, lowering themselves in true Slipknot fashion leaving only the Cowboy standing amongst the mosh pit, and performing a large circle pit around the Cowboy who was stood on his own in the middle (and presumably, was crushed as it turned into a wall of death.)

The band finished their set with their first ever single, Thug Workout, which took the audience back to a nostalgic time where the band performed heavier, more violent in tone songs. It was great to see them remain proud of their humble beginnings, back when YouTube comments would question whether their music videos:

“Had a budget of nothing more than a pack of crisps?”

Click here to see for yourself.

Such humble beginnings did of course, flourish into their ever growing fan-base. As shown by the fact the band ambitiously performed at the Motorpoint Arena, the largest arena they have played in Nottingham so far. Such ambitions were met, and the event was highly anticipated. Having seen them play to crowds of little over 3000 a few years ago, it’s great to see them play to crowds of nearing 10,000, illustrating their growth of the past few years, and their continuous growth is something I am excited to see.

In reality, the band take an easy going stance to their image and marketing; doing random things which are evidently done just for a bit of fun. This then, is what gives them a unique, refreshing and carefree image which is so genuine and humbling that you cannot help but enjoy it.

Overall, this night is well deserving of a 9.5/10, it offered more than a normal Don Broco gig, but rather a cinematic experience and an opportunity to be involved in the making of Don Broco history. One which, as a fan myself, I will hold fond memories of for a long time.

To delve into the unique, carefree world of Don Broco, see their latest album Technology here.