Photograph by Kane Layland
Photograph by Kane Layland

Concert Review: DON BROCO

DON BROCO, to anyone who knows them, are a very special band. Despite easily selling out the 10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace venue last weekend, they continue to feel like one of the most grassroots and under-appreciated bands of this decade.

I first saw BROCO at the tiny Bedford Esquires venue, back in our shared home-town. If anything, the band absolutely proved then that you don’t need big production values to enjoy their unique experience. Despite this being their largest ever performance, ironically with their largest ever production values, the band blew the audience away with what I think was their best ever performance.

I managed to squeeze myself into the second row. The band opened with Technology, the single from their new album (named, you guessed it! Technology). The crowd immediately turned feral. After the second song, I regretted having worn glasses, which were now in pieces on the floor. Oh well.

Next, Everybody. This popular dance song, once on our C-list, has a catchy accompanying dance. Despite Ally Pally being more packed than ever, and not a single person standing with their personal space uninfringed, a lot of the audience attempted the cowboy dance.

After playing some bangers from their last album Automatic, BROCO smashed out some tracks from their debut studio album Priorities. This was followed by one of their oldest songs, nearly ten years old, Thug Workout. A guaranteed play at any DB show, this heavy hit never fails to strike a chord with the audience. Combined with an absolutely epic light show (lasers never go amiss!), those in the mosh-pit seemed to be having the time of their lives.

Rarely do I get to go to a show and see such an overwhelmingly positive response to support acts. At a lot of concerts, fans wait impatiently for the main act and pay little or no attention to support. That didn’t happen at this show. The American band State Champs, who DON BROCO accompanied on their first ever U.S.A tour, lent their vocalist Derek DiScanio to Further – a slightly downbeat song from the Automatic album.

Rob introduced their penultimate track, T-Shirt Song, with a prelude about what the song meant to the him and to band. He spoke briefly about how he and a friend had been in a very low place when the song was written. He spoke about how he found himself in a club, when the DJ dropped the Baywatch theme, and how the inspiration came from the crowd, who took off their t-shirts and swung them around above. This really struck a chord with the audience, who then did exactly this – and starred in the music video for the new song.

A rock concert is never complete without an on-stage proposal, and that’s exactly what happened before Broco’s final song, Pretty. The lights dimmed, and a strange figure approached, giving a speech. An ex-Army veteran, he proposed to his now-fiancé. The band returned wearing their infamous white suits, before performing their final song of the set. Pretty, released in May, showcased the band’s new style. Featuring lots of heavy guitar riffs, they wrapped the show leaving the crowd wanting more, and also covered head-to-toe in moshpit bruises.

As alumna from Bedford Modern, the school that DON BROCO formed at, I wasn’t at all surprised to see the Bedford crowd at Ally Pally. There were enough of us that the band thought we deserved a shout-out mid-set – you could definitely hear our response. Some of the band’s old teachers made an appearance in the lobby at the end. It’s really heartwarming to see a band that were once so small having flourished.

A huge thanks to Kane Layland for the photograph.

Insanity Radio wins Student Radio Award

Insanity Radio is proud to announce that it has won a Student Radio Award, also receiving two silver awards. The gold award, in the category of Best Technical Achievement, was awarded to the station by BBC’s Dave Walters.

Jam Woods, Head of Computing, who accepted the award on behalf of the station’s technical team, said: “It’s a wonderful feeling to have your team’s hard work recognised at a national event. This is also a particularly important milestone, as a woman-led team haven’t won in this category before.

“Nerve, our now award-winning music library, was built to make life easier for our presenters, production teams, and management staff. It’s great to see that the industry professionals agree, and hopefully they can learn something from us, too.”

The two silver certificates were awarded to Sophie Shapter for her documentary series Shadow, and Philipp Carl Kostelecky, in the category of Kevin Greening Award for Creativity. Shadow is available for listening on MixCloud, and you can find Philipp on Sundays at 5PM.

Insanity Radio is always looking for new volunteers, student or not, to join our many teams. There’s plenty of information on getting involved available on our website.

 

Insanity at Reading

After bribing persuading the organisers to give us unprecedented access to the festival, there was quite a bit of Insanity at Reading.

Over the next few days, we’ll be updating this page with interviews, photos, and intelligence gathered over the long weekend.

Throughout the bank holiday weekend, Insanity provided live updates and content directly from Reading festival. We’ll be sharing

Be sure to follow us on SoundCloud and Twitter.

÷ by Ed Sheeran

This is Ed Sheeran’s third studio album, and I think it is his best album yet! It brings a certain Irish vibe to it, which relates to him because of his Irish heritage. In my opinion, this album really captures the meaning of life. For example: “Castle on the Hill” is written as a story of his life growing up, which gives us- the listeners- an insight into him as a person. Some of the songs aren’t ones you might dance to in a club, but they have real emotion and are very well written and you can hear all of them in the way Sheeran portrays them.

If you want to test your carpool karaoke skills, songs like “Galway Girl” and “Shape of You” are the perfect tunes to belt out while in the car, giving off an upbeat and happy vibe- also very catchy! For me, Ed Sheeran is the best artist out there because he has that style that makes him stand out from the crowd. His music sends a message to people, that touches them and inspires them, that says you can achieve your dreams and be a success.

I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us in the future!

You can get Ed’s new album on Spotify, Amazon and iTunes.