12th July 2010
Taking position in the barely occupied back room of the Monto Water Rats, I felt a rather strange feeling drift past me. For a short while I stood in disbelief! Wondering whether my mind was playing tricks on me. After a quadruple check and third person verification, I can now say with glee that Monto Water Rats air conditioning system is finally working! With such an amazing revelation, tonight was bound to be great!
However The Raid made a rather shaky start to the evenings sonic glory. Wearing a stupid neck-scarf the lead vocalist was an instantly disagreeable fellow, who only served to prove our assumptions correct throughout the set. His aloof, almost Liam Gallagher sized ego, his self importance and grandeur was projected without a glimpse of irony. It’s a shame really as the band were pretty handy at crafting some standout indie rock tunes scattered amongst their generic brit-rock fare.
Danko Jones doesn’t mess about, he’s here to rock, no questions asked. Strutting to his mic stand he picks up his axe with warrior like adeptness, before blazing a trail on the fret board from the opening power chord to the last kerrang. As a power trio this band really have an abundance of energy as they fire off frantic hard rockers which are based in their punk influenced past.
Their riff hungry tracks are both aggressive and melodic at the same time, all the while being rooted in firm pop principles of rousing chorus’s with boundless energy. These guys clearly take their rocking seriously as they ploughed non-stop through the first 20 minutes barely giving the crowd time to think as they assaulted their ears with high octane power chords and emphasised riff-ettes. So much time this power trio spent rocking, that when they did stop to chat with the crowd everyone was listening attentively. Lead singer, the actual Danko Jones loves his life and he loves to rock and this comes across in his machismo attitudes and desire to want to put on the best show of the year! After launching into a passionate tirade of how hard they roll, how fast they play and how loud they crank, Danko announced
I AM ROCK AND ROLL!!! …and next a pop friendly Radio Hit
Before strutting into their upbeat rocker First Date.
The quality of their set was superb as they played the choice cuts from their 4 album back catalogue including Lovercall, Play The Blues, Forget My Name, Code Of The Road. The new album material from 2010’s Below The Belt stood up well with its bigger pop hooks. Danko clearly just loves to play and hence it wasn’t a big surprise when he rants about his record company which ended thus…
…they put out this next song as a “single” (cue cheers), they want it to get “rotation” (cue cheers), preferable “heavy” (cue cheers)…
What followed was the cracking rocker Full Of Regret. Even if Danko didn’t seem to care whether or not it was popular (I feel he’d be happy playing to an empty room) it seems to go down well here!
The real high points of the show were where they went back to their roots and played their super-fast punk rockers at breakneck speed which sparked some mini moshing and over enthusiastic dancing. These showcased their raucous energy as they played with such unrelentling fury within these 2 minute outpouring of guitar chaos.
After listening to Danko’s extended speech during Mountain It’s clear to see that this guy is a real trooper with rock and roll spirit coursing through his veins. I just hope he keeps on coming back, as London loved him tonight in what was one of the best shows of 2010!
(P.S. Apologies for the terrible photo quality)