LIVE REVIEW: Don Broco at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust

LIVE REVIEW: Don Broco at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust
Photo credit: Fraser Taylor

In 2019, XS Noize was invited to see some of the most specular live music the Royal Albert Hall had to offer that year in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. They provide specialist care and life-changing support for teenagers with cancer and their families.

Tom Grennan played his biggest gig to date, and The Levellers supported by Dreadzone and Wildwood Kin plus DJ sets from Don Letts closed out the 19th edition of gigs to aid this sacrosanct charity. Following a three year absence (owing to COVID 19), the delayed 20th edition was finally allowed. Bedford’s four-piece Don Broco (supported by Deaf Havana) got the filled Royal Albert Hall rocking for the opening night.

The story of Don Broco’s success is building up a life reputation through earning support slots for bands including You Me At Six, Enter Shakari, Bring Me The Horizon and 5 Seconds of Summer to eventually headlining and selling out London’s Alexandra Palace. Furthermore, Don Broco demonstrate that physical music sales, as opposed to digital downloads and streams, can pave the way to earning a number one album.

When released in 2021 as a download, the latest fourth LP, Amazing Things, barely made it into the top 100. However, when physical releases finally arrived following a global vinyl production shortage in January 2022, Amazing Things climbed to number one, earning Don Broco their first number one album.

Before the band even graced the stage to join a full orchestra, as soon as the lights went out, the Royal Albert Hall was standing and cheering for Don Broco. Opening with “Come Out to LA”, the crowd were now dancing, screaming, cheering moshing, and those who knew the lyrics sang along. Some even threw flowers in appreciation of frontman Rob Damiani dressed in a Queen of Hearts shirt and blue, boot-cut jeans.

The genuine, unique chemistry of frontman Damiani with co-lead vocalist and drummer Matt Donnelly permeated the Royal Albert Hall. Damiani’s vocal diversity, including rap, falsetto to vocal growling, created an adrenaline-fuelled sensory fest throughout the set. The poignancy of having an orchestra where the trumpets were centre stage was at its most potent during “Pretty”. The irony was Damiani frequently asked the audience to keep making noise. Damiani didn’t need to, and neither did he worry about the crowds” enthusiasm or the number of decibels their noise was making.

Don Broco also played “Gumshield” from the new album, which tackles negative aspects of social media and “Easter Sunday”, which partly dealt with drummer Matt’s father losing three brothers within a month in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. After playing the penultimate song of the set:” One True Prince”, Don Broco announced that this would be the last UK gig for a while as the band were embarking on an international tour and then took time out to write another record.

The crowds’ elation fell into a state of angry depression within seconds. Fortunately, the best of Don Broco’s hypnotic powers was saved for the end with “T-Shirt Song”, where almost three-quarters of the venue took off and waved their t-shirts to revitalise the Royal Albert Hall.

Please text “GIVE” to 70500 to donate £10 to the Teenage Cancer Trust or visit here.

Xsnoize Author
Michael Barron 313 Articles
Michael first began writing whilst studying at university; reviewing the latest releases and live gigs. He has since contributed to the Fortean Times as well as other publications. Michael’s musical tastes vary from Indie to psychedelic, folk and dubstep.

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