Monday, 28 April 2014

12/2/2008 Danko Jones @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen

SubjectDanko Jones @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen

This is another show I've really been looking forward to. I first discovered Danko Jones about 8 years ago when I went to see Backyard Babies at the LA2. I'd never heard of the support act. Out onto the stage walks this black guy wearing a tight fitting suit - "This doesn't look very rock 'n' roll" I was thinking "...and he's got a Telecaster - that's not a very rock 'n' roll guitar!" (OK - I know there are exceptions but there are a very few people who can rock with a Tele). And there were only 3 people in the band - was this some lightweight blues act? Then they started playing. WOW! I was blown away - I don't think I'd ever seen anyone rock so hard!  I went out and bought all the albums and have been a big fan ever since - seeing Danko Jones everywhere from small London clubs like Metro to the Download festival. 

Hoxton Bar & Kitchen seems an odd venue to host an out and out rock show like this - it's more suitable for jazz and blues type acts and is not the most appropriate of places for this bill.  However, The Garage is shut (but not for much longer) so here we are...

The opening act is Tokyo Dragons - it's not the first time they have supported Danko Jones and they are a good choice.
They are very much a retro style 70's/80's out and out rock band, but fired up with punk type energy and the riffing and shape throwing skills of bands like the Hellacopters and Datsuns.
It's pretty basic and raw stuff - they are the 'anti-cool' and their show is packed with totally unfashionable hair, clothes, and guitar solos - and it's all the better for it!
This band aren't for people who let Kerrang! and Metal Hammer tell them what is 'cool' this month - this is a band for people who like to ROCK. End of.

Danko Jones have never disappointed me live - this is a band who truly understand the very simple secret of what made AC/DC so great - really tight playing and a dynamite rhythm section. This band have that same really tight feel - only faster. 
The setlist is a good selection of old and new - going back to the early stuff from 'Alive And On Fire' up to the forthcoming new album 'Never Too Loud'. My only criticism is that they didn't play 'Cadillac' - arguably their best song with it's rhythm and sound that is not so much dirty, as absolutely filthy!

Danko notices some black lacey knickers have appeared on his guitar...

I have to say that although this is a good show, it's probably the least good I have seen this band. I think there are a couple of reasons for this, the first being that it's the first gig of the tour and they haven't really warmed up and got going yet. The second reason is the absence of original drummer Damon Richardson who was replaced for the last album and tour by Dan Cornelius. Dan is good, but not as good as Damon and a little of the tightness and sharpness the band used to have has been lost in my opinion. John Calabrese (or JC) believes in keeping it simple, but is definitely one of the best bass players I have ever seen. Danko himself is a very charismatic performer full of in your face attitude, but seems a little less full of himself than usual tonight. However, at one point a 'JC' chant starts from the audience - Danko is having none of it and responds with "Here's a song about me!" before launching into 'The Mango Kid'.
This is a sold out show and the crowd are really going for it - there is a fierce moshpit, broken glass underfoot, and a very drunk girl who stagedives several times. There are also one or two male stagedivers - JC and the security guys try to shove them off the front of the stage - eventually Danko has had enough and proclaims "Hey - this is my show!". After about an hour of high-powered soul, metal, and R&B tinged hard rock finishing with live favourite 'The Mountain Song' everybody goes home, hot sweaty, and happy! 

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