Friday, 19 April 2013

Loco at Koko - Live review of Don Broco at Koko

Don Broco *****
Pure Love *****

Koko, Camden, 18th April 2013

Due to the ridiculously massive queue, I sadly missed Decade, tonight's first support, in favour of a rather nice Camden curry. So, with apologies to the lads (who apparently did a fine job) full of prawn puri and Pinotage and sticking with the spicy food theme, it's time to tuck into tonight's entree.

Pure Love *****
A fiery, non-pretentious bowl of spice. Big-bollocked straightforward rock-infused flavours served on a bed of griddled and grizzled punky bile. With the in-your-face and ferocious Frank Carter as the scotch bonnet or black naga chilli plonked on top ready to tear your fucking neck out.

Theirs is an odd Bombay mix. Carter cajoles, insults and takes the piss out of the boisterous crowd in equal measure like a latter day Lydon; all snarl and acidity. Add in Jim Carroll's cock waving plank spanking melange of Brian May, Slash and Richie Blackmore with a contemporary rawer flavouring and hey presto - something that looks searingly hot, huge, filling, spicy but, on the face of it a bit unappealing and probably 'orribly inedible.

However, like some ridiculous molecular chefs, they only get it to bloody well work. 

Carter is loving it. Singing (you 'eard, not screaming or yelling) from the midst of the pit for most of the set, he's all swagger, piss and energy. At one point Carroll manages to get into one of Koko's balcony boxes and does his best Angus Young posturing. Carter, not one to be left out is pushed up by the crowd and scrambles up to join his hairy axeman. All pure theatre, anarchy and fun. 

This is unpretentious, honest old school rock and roll. They don't give a shit about being different for the sake of being different. While there maybe nowt too much new or experimental here, there's bags of boogie, guts, groove and even solos. Yup. Solos. And, despite moments of straying dangerously close to The Darkness (thankfully minus the coked-up falsetto) the overall effect is mouthwatering and fucking hot. And the young crowd lick the plate clean.

Pure genius.

Don Broco *****

So, after such a bloody brilliant, skin-melting exhausting and emotionally draining fire fest, could the Bedfordshire balti boys deliver even more sizzle than Carter's unstoppable spice machine?

Yeah. No bother.

From the Phal-like volcanic eruption of the anthemic set opener Priorities, it's game on. 

On the face of it, Broco are your favourite chicken tikka masala. Wholesome, tasty, not too hot or edgy. You know what to expect. But there's far more to this dish than meets the eye. There's ridiculous searing heat, sophisticated flavours and real depth beyond the initial yummy creamy sauce. There's genuine musicality. Real skill. And tonight, a remarkable sell-out crowd is in the mood for stuffing their faces. 

The meteoric and well-deserved rise of these likable Superdry superheroes has been well documented, but it's worth reminding ourselves that it wasn't long ago these lads were perennial warm up acts playing to half empty rooms of disinterested early arrivals. Ok, their amazing support of Lower Than Atlantis was a game changer and gave us an amuse-bouche or taster of what was to come, but it's remarkable that it's happened so fast.

This evening, the atmosphere is as spicy as the fare on offer. Bouncing, writhing, boiling seas of the sweaty young singing along with every word. Pyramids of push up boys, walls of love (not death), claps, panto sing-a-longs and shoulder riding all goes on relentlessly like some sort anything-goes orgy.

The set is pretty much the same as the first leg of the Priorities tour (Underworld review here>) and showcases most of the brilliant Priorities album. The Whole Truth, Actors, Hold on and Fancy Dress forming the spine. Old faves like Dreamboy with it's brilliant riff, the catchier than Chlamydia Beautiful Morning and All Good are all, well, all good. But the young crowd reaches vinegar stroke at the arrival of Thug Workout turning from a face-melting Jalfrezi into a searing double Naga tindaloo with added napalm, semtex, jiz and wasp piss.

But it'd be unfair to single out one tune as better than any other. Everything on offer tonight is served up deliciously. And the boys seem to be enjoying every second of it as they strut through their wonderfully ironic cheesy dance moves garnished with cheeky chappy grins and smoulders.

Don Broco are a breath of fresh air. Straddling genres from the meatier heavier end of things through sarcastic cheesy boy-band likeability to more complex alt and proggy flavours, they are waving the banner for the UK underground; but tunneling ever closer to the surface. 

And on tonight's evidence, it's not going to be long before this epic hugeness will pale in comparison to future even bigger epicer hugerness. Let's just all hope they don't put too much cream in to emasculate the raw heat, spice and excitement of their truly original and delicious offering.

Tasty, tasty stuff.

Here's a cobbled together iPhone vid i shot from the pit with extra angles borrowed from Alex51993. Cheers dude.

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