Rock band Don Broco return to Oxford’s O2 Academy for their rescheduled show or, as they named it, ‘The Bad Plumbing Tour’ in which they find humour in the cancellation of the original date due to leaking toilets. There is even a limited amount of ‘The Bad Plumbing Tour’ shirts available, and the people of Oxford sure appreciated the band’s comedy by purchasing the one-off piece.
Kicking off the show is Shiners, a London-based Brit-wave band with ties to rock and punk genres. The four-piece are received well thanks to the audience packing into the venue early. The band possesses a 90’s kind of vibe with vocals from frontman, Jamie Delaney, beyond his years, and guitar-led melodies with a touch of tambourine. The set includes old material from their formation in 2015 such as the catchy ‘Pressure’ which sees toe-tapping and head-bopping amongst the crowd and newest single ‘Generation Y’ from their debut album, ‘Now 2017.’ Oxford is treated to Shiners for Don Broco’s final tour date; a shame that it was just a one-off.
Secondary support comes from Glaswegian The LaFontaine’s who have supported the Broco boys for the duration of their April-May leg of the UK/EU tour. Their sound is unique, with leading rap-style vocals from frontman Kerr, support indie-sounding vocals from Neil, and rock-heavy instrumentals. Obvious charisma and stage presence has been gained from the touring experience and it seems their striking performance has attained them a few more fans. Vocalist, Kerr, encourages crowd engagement with hands up, energetic, dancing gestures – his vigour infectious.
“There’s another band, so stick around for Don Broco – they left early last time” jokes Kerr, referencing to the toilet situation in late April. But The LaFontaine’s could well be the headline band based on their performance, with their ‘Pon De Fonts’ Beyonce – Run The World (Girls) intro, that actually works surprisingly well as a hefty build up. During this particular number, Kerr urges the crowd to drop down low and walks into the crowd, joining the sweaty pit for a mosh. This band sure know how to party and the audience show their appreciation by joining the vocals for the set closer, ‘Asleep.’
The venue shakes from the band’s presence, and they leave on the announcement that they are to return to London for another tour date later in the year. “We’ll see you there!” shouts Kerr as the boys wave themselves off stage.
Just as it’s time for Don Broco to take the stage, the lights go up and the boys come out; their expressions apologetic. “We are so sorry to do this again, but we can’t play tonight. We’ll see you soon, Oxford.” Those words go straight to the hearts of those who were forced to go home last time. But Matt Donnelly mounts his drums and the smirks and laughs follow.
The set opens with ‘Pretty’ and ‘Everybody’, which are noticeably popular amongst the fans as the mosh pits break out so soon; the heat rising in Oxfords O2 Academy. Lead singer and frontman, Rob Damiani, jumps down from the stage and up onto the barrier, singing the words of ‘Good Listener’, a new song from their third album released in February, ‘Technology.’ “If you wanna come hang with us, please do, security will look after you!” Encourages Damiani.
The boys take it back to their first album, ‘Priorities’ with their debut single, ‘You Wanna Know’, which sees the crowd bouncing in recognition. Although the night brings their usual young-adult fan base, there is also noticeably a lot of older members in the audience, who enjoy the set with a drink at the back of the venue, making the most of the space to dance. Damiani announces, “Last time we were here we were touring for Automatic”, their second album. And in relation to that, the band performs ‘Automatic’, telling all to get down and jump up when the beat kicks back in.
The night shows such love for the bands new material, which is sung back to them. Sweaty bodies emerge from the compact crowd, eager for a breather. The energy continues: “Anybody knackered and cant carry on?” asks Damiani, left with an enthusiastic cheer, which is assumed as a no. “Here’s ‘Money, Power, Fame’, a bouncy one.” Arms are up, phones are out and singing voices are loud for high-pitched rock ballad ‘Nerve’, slowing down the vibe only for the speed to be brought back again with oldie-but-goldie ‘Thug Workout’. “Open the crowd up! This is where it began. Pretty was the dress rehearsal – let’s do this!”
The set ends with new tour favourite, ‘T-Shirt Song’, which sees, as expected, t-shirts waving around but also an unplanned surprise. Old school fan ‘Whoopie’, dressed as a whoopie cushion, is invited on stage for his final show before his retirement, and the band requests that he be crowd surfed around the venue for the final song. Don Broco are certainly at the peak of their career, a band not to be missed.