Preview: Don Broco @ O2 Academy Bristol 9/2/18

Following the release of their 3rd album Technology this week, Don Broco are currently embarking on a 3 week UK headline tour kicking off in Bedford, the town where the band met and formed all the way back in 2008. They’ll be heading down to the South-West on the 9th February to play a massive headline show at the O2 Academy Bristol. The alternative four-piece already ticked off an incredible item on their rock bucket list last year when they sold out their first arena show at Alexandra Palace, London; since then, they’ve had a brief stint down under playing across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane before coming back to home turf.

Their newest record Technology takes an experimental turn, with a myriad of musical influences, everything from 80s techno-pop, to 90s dance music and early 00s pop-punk with some metal thrown in for size. New singles like ‘Technology’, and ‘T-Shirt Song’ seem like they were conceived as stadium rock songs, and will no doubt play to an enthusiastic crowd at the sell-out gig next week.

Their debut album, Priorities, peaked at number 26 in the album charts but showed off the band’s capabilities with an already distinctive punchy pop-rock sound. The album spawned three singles, including the infectious ‘Whole Truth and Priorities’, a scathing tribute to a mate whose neglects his buddies in favour of his relationship. A lyric from this album’s ‘Yeah Man’, “we’ll never get fat because we jump around like prats”, aptly describes the energy they bring to their live shows.

It was 2015’s Automatic that saw the band reinvent themselves with a cleaner sound that took inspiration from eighties beats. Despite being very divisive among the critics, the album gained them a whole new host of followers, and hit no.6 in the UK album chart. The entrancing psychedelia of ‘Nerve’ with its grinding beat and powerful falsetto chorus shows off a rare vulnerability, while ‘What You Do to Me’ begins with a dexterous rumbling bass during the verses and builds to a rousing chorus. A hidden gem to watch out for is ‘Thug Workout’, a metal screech of a song with ridiculous lyricism that hasn’t even made it onto Don Broco’s Spotify page. It’s a favourite among long-term fans of the band as they’ve been performing it live since the beginning.

So far, Don Broco have supported names as diverse as 5 Seconds of Summer, Enter Shikari and Bring Me the Horizon. Their support act next week will be Japanese superstars Man with a Mission. Think a combination of punk rock and Twenty-one Pilots, who wear fluffy wolf heads during their sets. Also on the billing is Press to MECO, a fast-paced rock outfit from Croydon whose sound seems to flit from prog-rock, to hard-core and then back to pop, sometimes in the space of a single track. All in all, it looks set to be an unpredictable evening which will give some fans their first chance to see Don Broco perform their newest material live.


Sarah Roberts


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