“Bedford, where’s Bedford?”, the opening words to their song titled “Pretty”, also serves an introduction from where they came from. Hailing from Bedford, DON BROCO, a band that many may not be familiar with, aside from the famed metalcore outfits, graced our humble abode with a one night only performance.
Having listened to Enter Shikari and gotten very hooked onto the band Marmozets, I have since expanded my playlist to what I may deem to be extensive, having songs of different genres in one Spotify playlist. It was only much much later that I stumbled upon DON BROCO, and I was so quick to get sucked into the rabbit hole of their recently released album titled Technology. With very interesting and captivating art to boot, the new album is a take on a heavy sided post-hardcore sounds with dancy tunes. One in which, words would not do much justice, let alone make sense, I was caught in a perpetual surprise as I skimmed through the tracks through the album.
It was a Sunday night and as much as I was looking forward to a night of fun and release, I was concerned about work the next day and also the weather was not helping with getting into the gears of the show. While the crowd starting growing in the studio, I asked my friend ‘how do we mosh to their songs?’ and trust us to both shrug our shoulders in unison just to find out otherwise later into the night.
The band greeted the crowd and I was so fixated on Simon with his rather short red shorts, clad in an ABBA shirt, rocking the most majestic beard. And Rob, donned in his Jule Vera arm-slashed shirt wore a huge smile across his face as the night started off with “Everybody”. It was a the track off their recently released album and I was jumping in my spot as I restricted myself to not put pressure on my weak knee. The crowd was not as big as the past shows in the studio but there was enough space for everyone to move around and not hit on each other. With the continuous strumming and the notes belted by Rob, it felt as though the club just started, purely good clean fun and everyone followed in Rob’s stead when he said “what you waiting for?” as everybody was letting loose. It was a heightened start to the night and I was sure that the energy won’t be dissipating anytime soon.
“You Wanna Know”, a well-celebrated track off their album Automatic took me into a voyage altogether as I got reminded of watching Paramore earlier this year. The tunes rang in my ears with so much familiarity, sounding almost like Paramore’s song “Ain’t It Fun”. The energy of the song was nothing foreign and it felt like we’re back to being sixteen and dancing at the dance floor during prom. It sure made us feel like we’re not the age that was set in stone for us but more so, having to feel so young as the songs created nostalgic tones, I was dancing even if I didn’t know how to and I couldn’t stop.
A couple of songs from Automatic got the OG fans massively belting lyrics from every corner of the studio and I can’t say that I have much listens for that album but I remembered moshing hard during “Superlove”. I believe my two friends and I started the mosh pit in that small space. I was afraid I was going to regret my decision but funnily, I felt even more alive as I sang to the song, going “yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah oh oh” with every push made in between the guys. So much for “how do we mosh to their songs”!
I planted myself at the back once I managed to get out of the mosh pit altogether to catch my breath and the highlight of the night had to be my favourite track off the album when I was panning my full concentration on Tom as his basslines were impeccable and I was mucking my lips while squinting to get into the jive. Their song “Stay Ignorant” was pure solid gold and I was singing to the song and while tapping my feet, again, thoroughly hypnotized by the groovy basslines, exactly, note for note, having played the song on repeat on Spotify. And as soon as Simon went into his riff, the moshing started again as I took a deep breath and the next thing I knew, I was right in front of Rob. His energy and him constantly smiling was such of something worth guffawing about. Until my friend nudged me and said ‘if Hayley Williams was a dude’ and it struck me and I couldn’t help myself from laughing as the resemblance of their stage antics were very uncanny.
The crowd beckoned for an encore after “Come Out To LA”. As one of the heavier songs, expect us to be jumping and moshing yet again. But I could only stop in my tracks to soak in Rob’s stage antics and saw Hayley Williams in him, with their quirky moves, their dressing styles and also the smile while performing. As much as Rob is a very well-developed man, his get up that night brought such a quirky demeanour, a modern androgyny. I am not saying this because I may think that him and Hayley might be twins, but his moves on stages were just impeccable and the sounds for the night was on point, something that is a rather hit or miss for that particular studio.
The highlight of the night has got the be the “T-Shirt Song”, having it’s own backstory when Rob hit a rock and he was in the pub when he decided to take his t-shirt off and eventually got out of the slump. Wanting to re-live that night with his fans alike, Rob beckoned the crowd to take off their shirt and swing it around, just to let loose and let it all go. I could say that about a good 70% of the crowd took off their shirt and swung it around. Having to endure the slapping of shirts being swung around, I had to squat to contain my laughter when I caught someone in the crowd taking off her pants instead. The things you’d do when you’re having fun.
DON BROCO blew my mind off that night; Matt’s prowess on the drums, Simon doing his quirky jumps on stage as the killed the songs with the riffs, and the star of the night for me was Tom with his impeccable basslines that still edges at the back of my head. This band is definitely a force to be reckoned with, bringing alternative music with a dash of post-hardcore into a new level altogether. A crossover for music genres is always amazing and have always been done right. Not a full metal show but I nursed the aftermath of the moshing with much precaution for any upcoming gigs coming up in the near future. I am not quite done with DON BROCO and I’d love to see them again in the near future. Thank you Inokii for the best weekend to usher in the new year.