Fresh off the heels of their main stage showing at Reading back in August, Don Broco are back with a brand tour, The Birthday Party. Playing a number of smaller venues than what they have come to know as of late is a great way for Don Broco to show their faces to their fans. Along for the ride are Melbourne rockers, Ocean Grove and St. Alban’s own Trash Boat.
Nick Rayns LCR, UEA Norwich – 2 December 2023
Words And Photography: Lawrence Potter
After the first two acts put on a couple of mouth-watering sets, the stage turns into something of a garden party theme, a birthday garden party, if you will. At around 8:30, Don Broco bound to the stage as the LCR in Norwich absolutely erupts!
First song of the night from the boys from Bedford is Gumshield from their 2021 release, Amazing Things. This transcends straight into Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan. It’s been a while since I last saw Don Broco way back during their Automatic album tour, and their style has certainly changed to an extent. But they stay true to that fun-loving charm we fell in love with back in the day. Broco never take themselves too seriously, but you can never take away the sheer talent this band possesses.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more energetic band than these lads. The whole night, they were bounding across one side of the stage to the other and jumping up and down, yet somehow never hitting a dud note.
Frontman Rob Damiani’s brash and in-your-face vocals mixed with drummer Matt Donnelly’s cleaner vocals and soaring harmonies are a match made in heaven. And when you add the heavy guitars along with majestic clean sounds coming from Simon Delaney and the perfectly placed bass grooves of Tom Doyle, all held together by Matt Donnelly on the sticks, this band are a must-see any day of the week.
The fans are on their feet from start to finish as Don Broco puts on an absolute belter, fuelled with such tunes as the hard-hitting Action and the melodic masterpiece that is Superlove. Also, for the first time in a while, according to Damiani, we heard Actors from their very first release, Priorities (the title being played later on in the night).
As the night is nearing the end, the band ask if it’s anyone’s birthday. A few screamed yes, and the band dedicated the next song to those people. It is, of course, Birthday Party. This goes into Everybody before the band leaves the stage.
Don Broco return to leave us with Fingernails, ending on T-Shirt Song, which sees almost everyone in attendance waving their t-shirts in unison. A fantastic night that shows musicians don’t have to take themselves too seriously to be a world-class act.