First up were local girls, The Amorettes, kicking things off with their own punk-edged rock. Laden with attitude and riffs they hit the ground running and never let up. That could have been down to the fact they were playing their hometown. With their recent album, I heard a few negative comments launched their way, all pretty much unanimous. I’ve seen a few videos on YouTube and they seemed decent enough; a band to earmark to check out at some point. However, a mere video doesn’t nearly capture the raw energy they exude onstage. In a genre dominated by men, an all-girl band makes a refreshing change and shows those without a Y-chromosome can rock just as hard.
Ten o’clock hit and Danko Jones took to the stage. Normally by this point of an evening, a band has hit their stride and is halfway through their set. Unless it’s the O2 ABC and the band are saying their farewells with a promise of returning. With an hour and a half to play with and a twenty song set, Danko Jones were out to impress. Or at least, from what I saw of it…
Sunday and relying on public transport rarely makes a good combination. And with King Tut’s starting their nights at 20:30 (another recent gig in there was similar) instead of the standard 19:00, it pushed everything back. That said, I’ve been in Tut’s before with a 19:00 start so who knows what’s going on there. What I did see impressed me and the next time the trio are back in town, I’m definitely going to catch them. The last few songs of their set “Watch You Slide”, “Body Bags”, “Full of Regret” and “Bring on the Mountain” are on YouTube and it looks phenomenal.
With punk, grunge, blues all infused with a good dollop of hard rock, it’s essentially my bread and butter when it comes to rock. And these guys are criminally under-rated. Playing to 300 people after 20 years must sting a bit. But they seem to be having too much fun to care about their crowd size, keeping things intimate and let’s be honest; something is lost between the crowd and the band when they’re playing in massive halls.
[additional words from Lucio Rizzo who saw them in Wolverhampton a couple of nights later]
Moshville Times asked me to add a few words about the show for them and I am very happy to do so. I “discovered” Danko Jones when they opened for Motorhead quite a few years ago and it’s taken that long for me to get another chance to see them.
That last time was at the Civic Hall, quite a big place. This time it was the Slade Rooms, much more intimate but – I think – more fun. I am surprised that a band as good as this aren’t playing bigger places, but I am happy also as small venues get you closer to them.
Danko Jones himself is a good front man, very rock and roll. He knows how to talk to a crowd as well as sing and play the guitar. The whole band know how to put on a good show and worked hard to make sure the audience rocked as hard as they did!
I only have two of the band’s albums at home, but the set covered – I think – almost all of their releases. I recognised “Invisible” and “First Date” from Sleep is the Enemy and “Code of the Road” from Never Too Loud. I got those albums after I saw them all those years ago. The new songs which the band introduced were really good, too.
Pick of those was probably “Do You Wanna Rock” which I have found on YouTube. It’s a great song which really sums up Danko Jones’ style and attitude.
Among the other songs were two covers for those of us who didn’t know all of the band’s own songs – “Die, Die My Darling” by The Misfits and “Are You Ready” by Thin Lizzy which was the first song in the encore.
I hope the band are back soon and I wish them continued success. I hope they stick to small venues, though.
[header image by Dustin Rabin]