Don Broco have come a long way since 2008’s ‘Living The Dream’ and ‘Thug Workout EP’s were first released, just ruddy blanks enclosed within a Microsoft word print off and cheap CD cover’s. The tracks were bursting with a crazed hormonal energy that threw listeners into a similar funk, their intimate live gigs harnessing that spirit as the crowd threw themselves into it and each other. Today, however, the dauntingly large main stage of Leeds Festival appears too distanced to call upon any such response. When frontman Rob Damiani calls on the crowd to “get pumped!” before single ‘Hold On‘, perhaps to reclaim the erstwhile energy, the response is more dully dutiful than enthused- a far cry from Hadouken‘s earlier rave-inducing antics.
Perhaps the lacklustre crowd drawn is also a result of the marked change the band’s musical style; while arguably still hormonal, the frenzy has dropped to more of a singsong love-letter low tempo; think ‘Time Of Your Life‘ mourning from the ‘Dookie‘ days, to be topical. Croons and oohs surely get you on the market – You Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses and All Time Low are a testament to that- but is there any excuse for writing the lyrics “making love to me now, making love to me”?
Troubling lyrical quality aside (though it has to be said that the Bedfordshire rockers have always had their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks) the fact of the matter is that Don Broco didn’t quite pull it off as well as usual for this particular set. ‘Thug Workout‘, with its added breakdowns and aggression, is indeed the stand-out song; more like this please?