16 November 2010
The Garage, London
Where was everyone?The UK doesn’t seem to have caught Danko Jones fever in the same way he’s greeted on mainland Europe and The Garage was only around half full tonight. Initially I wondered whether this had bothered the band, as they whizzed through the first six songs without a pause nor a word of Danko’s usual comic banter.However, this show was essentially split into five sections of uninterrupted songs with time for chat between each section.
In fact the attendance provided material for Danko to joke about being booked at the same time as the band playing in the smaller venue upstairs, with Danko winning the right to play the bigger venue, though “we didn’t exactly slaughter their asses, but we won the contest!”
This year’s Below The Belt album was a return to form for Danko Jones following the less energetic Never Too Loud. The band refer to that one as their “classic rock” album, but tellingly only Code Of The Road from that album features tonight. The main selections come from the new album and fan favourite Sleep Is The Enemy.
Three piece bands can sometimes suffer from a thin sound, but this isn’t an issue for Danko Jones. Ever energetic bassist John Calabrese fills out the sound whilst remaining tight with drummer Damon Richardson. Danko’s guitar does a lot of the work, despite his comical assertion that, “I’m not exactly Paul Gilbert or Yngwie Malmsteen …I know it looks that way but that’s because we’re in showbusiness”.
Musically Danko Jones rock, pure and simple. Take a splash of AC/DC, a touch of Ramones and even a dash of the Misfits in the case of Had Enough. Coincidentally it was during that song that I noticed Danko was sporting a Danzig skull belt buckle.
Tonight’s crowd take a while to warm up, but Jones ensures they do. A chant of Danko Jones is described by Jones as “My favourite song that has ever been written.Better than Sargent Pepper and Zeppelin 4” and the crowd are allowed to continue, “As long as you interrupt the band upstairs”.Danko’s most amusing and surreal rant notes the dwindling number of records labels, but large amounts of Greggs Bakeries. Danko tells us he’s signing with Greggs after the show and turned down a “shitty record label offer” from Pret A Manger.
Despite the turnout, it was clear that those there were treated to a 100% committed Danko Jones show and I do hope the band persevere with repeated visits to our shores as they deserve further support.
Danko Jones setlist:
I Think Bad Thoughts / Active Volcanoes / Play The Blues / Forget My Name / Sticky Situation / Code Of The Road / First Date / Had Enough / Baby Hates Me / Full Of Regret / Sugar Chocolate / Sugar High / Invisible / Lovercall / Bring On The Mountain (Become The Mountain) / Rock Shit Hot / She’s Drugs / Samuel Sin