Interview: DON BROCO

At their Bedford gig, on the first of Feb, we managed to snag a wicked 15 minutes with Rob Damiani from DON BROCO.

As you may have guessed from my last review, the gig was absolutely epic.

The interview starts from 16:17. Here’s the transcript:

  • N: Nica – our reporter
  • R: Rob Damiani
  • T: Tom “Tommy” Doyle

N: I’m here with Rob from DON BROCO, how does it feel to be home? Is it really weird to speak into a microphone that doesn’t have any sound outside of it?

R: Yeah! Oh no, no no, the question, how does it feel to be home. I mean we’ve been home the last few weeks so,

N: It feels good?

R: It was nice getting back for Christmas. We were kinda busy touring kinda until midway through December. We got back, kinda had about three days to get our Christmas shopping in. And yeah, got to chill out for Christmas, and I guess the start of this year has all been,

N: Go go go?

R: Yeah, go go go, leading up to the release of the new album. So we’ve been in Bedford for the past month I’d say, but we’ve just kind of been working so hard trying to, you know, finalise everything for the release. So we haven’t had a chance to chill, but yeah it’s nice to chill. And it’s nice to play Bedford, we haven’t played Bedford for a long time. So that’s the more kind of special thing, because we very rarely get to play here.

N: And do you feel like there’s more pressure because it’s your hometown, or do you feel comfortable here? Like, happy to be back?

R: Yeah, I’d say it’s kinda more exciting to do this venue because, we do play Bedford – we don’t get to play much but we do still try to come back like once a year, or, you know, every two years – we’ll play Esquires, which is our…

N: The slightly smaller venue?

R: I’ve got to say, that’s like our favourite venue.

N: Oooh!

R: No disrespect to the Corn Exchange. We’re sitting in the Corn Exchange right now, but Esquires is where we played our first ever show as a band. It’s where I saw my first ever band, it was really our home and our, I guess, our

N: Where it all started?

R: Yeah. It was just kinda where we hung out as well, and we’d go there to see our friends’ bands play, and, you know, there’d always be something going on there in Bedford growing up. And they’ve got some really sick gigs there now as well. It’s really got a new lease of life recently, and had some amazing bookings, and yeah. Kinda sad not to do it, but we’ll do Esquires next time! But we thought we’d mix it up cuz we’ve kinda done it four times… in a row… and um, we’ve never played the Corn Exchange as DON BROCO. I think we played here many many years ago, would have been under a different name supporting The King Blues.

N: What was the original name?

R: Um, I think we were called Club Sex back then.

N: Okaaaaaay [laughs]

R: We’ve had one or two names, we were called Club Sex back then. We were kinda the same band. I think we had just started playing Thug Workout, so we still had that as a song. But that was about it. And yeah that show was really fun, but if you’ve ever been to Bedford before, if you’ve ever been to the Corn Exchange before, it’s not traditionally a music venue. They’ve got a lot of plays, and comedians come through here, and it’s a good location for that.

N: Like a town hall? It has that kind of a vibe!

R: Yeah.

N: So are there any places in Bedford that you used to have band practice and things like that, like a lot of nostalgic areas that you would have started as a band?

R: We still practice at our practice base that, yeah, the band formed in back when we were like 13.

N: You were thirteen when you formed!

R: Yeah, the music centre on Tavistock Street, that’s Bedford’s, you know, best – well main, and maybe only – music shop. But we’d always hang out there, we’d go by after school.

[N: Sorry they’re sound checking upstairs!
R: [laughs] ]

R: So we always go back to Music Centre and, you know, try all the stuff out, and play guitars that we couldn’t afford and all like that. And yeah, that’s been like our practice space forever, and we still practice there now.

N: It’s good to keep it, you know…

R: Real.

N: And wholesome! So, Technology has been in the making for a very long time – since 2016? The first release came out in 2016, first song.

R: Yeah. That was really kind off like a one-off song, the start, Everybody.

N: With the cowboy!

R: With the cowboy video, yeah. And that kind of kicked things off really, we just wrote that song. It was the first song we’d written since our album Automatic, and without really thinking too much we just kind of put that out, with no real plan in mind and, you know, we decided that’s the start of the new album process.

N: And get everyone excited!

R: Yeah. I mean it’s just fun to, get to put out and play music, as soon as you’ve written it, rather than wait on it for years and years and years.

N: And then it kinda becomes a bit like, eh, stagnant.

R: Yeah, eventually when it comes out it’s not, well, it doesn’t feel as fresh, or as important to you, as when you’re writing it. That’s when you’re most excited about it. So we did that with a few songs, and we started properly writing the album at the end of that year.

N: So you’ve performed quite a few of these songs already. But of course there are gonna be some songs tonight that you’ve never performed live before!

R: Yeah! The new single Come Out To LA, we’ve never ever played before, so that’ll be a hit.

N: Oh really!

R: Yeah, that’ll be the first time we get to play that, yeah.

N: We had a little [listen of] the sound-check earlier on, sounded great! That’s exciting stuff. So you’re looking forward to see how the cloud – er – crowd, react!

R: The clouds as well! Hopefully not the clouds, cuz that means the roof would fall in. [laughs]

N: In the video for that song, you died right? At the beginning.

R: I died. Kinda before the video even really starts. It’s more the sort of prequel. It was a sad thing to see my own death on screen.

N: It was pretty! Covered in pink

R: Oh the gunge. That was bad. It was really fun shooting that death seen, cuz I get run over by a van, and it felt so ridiculous filming it because they put all of that in in post, and I’m just there standing in front of a camera, flailing around. He was sort of like “jump with your arms out, and look…”

N: How many takes?

R: About ten I think. Just in the hope that they can CGI in a van to make it look realistic enough.

N: Oh I see! Obviously you didn’t actually get hit by a van. So where did that video – where did the song come from? Have you been or gigged in LA before?

R: Yeah, we’ve gigged in LA. We’ve only ever had one gig in LA actually.

N: Did you fall in love with the place?

R: Actually not that time, no. I’d say, we’d been to LA before, and I love LA – the sunshine, all the beaches

N: Skate parks?

R: We didn’t actually get to go in any skate parks. Every time we’ve been it’s been kind of rapid, you know, you’ve only got so much time to fit it all in. But we loved LA the first time, we loved it so much, honestly had the best time going there as first time tourists and first time band. I guess that’s what the song is about. It’s about going to this place that you hear so much about, so much tragedy, and despair. It’s that city of musicians and actors and so many creative people trying to make it, and obviously not all of them can, and everyone’s – you do find a lot of try hard people out there. Because everyone’s trying to hussle and do their own thing, and there is a sadness to it. But we didn’t feel that when we first went there.

N: It’s nice to go with a project?

R: Yeah! We were shooting some music videos, we were being whisked around, and, er, taken to incredible restaurants. With our old label, and they’d like get the label credit card out

N: Nice! Like okay we made it?

R: That’s honestly how it felt. And we had an incredible time. And I guess it was when we got back that all the stuff that maybe we’d been told that would happen, and promises, and these things that we took as gospel – not all of them did happen. And it slowly started to tinge that memory of LA as something that, maybe wasn’t quite as amazing as we thought, because we had all these grand plans that didn’t actually come to fruition. And I still love LA, as a place

N: You have to go back! Make those plans come to fruition.

R: We had an amazing show when we got to play there last year. It was probably one of our favourite shows on the whole tour. I don’t know if I could move out and live there, but every time I go there I think…

N: You could live here?

R: Yeah. It’s the sunshine, the weather.

N: The weather is like the big changer! Right. So if you could master an instrument over night – any instrument – what would it be?

R: I would love to play the piano. I can’t, well I don’t really play any instruments. I used to play the cello when I was at school.

N: I used to play the trumpet! We all have one of those.

R: Ha ha ha. But yeah, I enjoyed playing in my orchestra. I enjoyed playing every time we’d meet up, when you first kinda learn, and you just do simple things around. I loved playing with other people, but I did not have the commitment to practice by myself at home. I found that really boring!

N: Well the piano’s good if you’re a singer as well.

R: That’s the thing. I don’t think I would have been able to discipline myself to learn it then, because you’re on your own a lot of the time when learning, or just you and a teacher. And it’s not that group creativity – and I think that’s what I love about being in a band. Collaborating with other people, so if you could just learn that without putting any effort in that’d be amazing.

N: That’s what I’m saying. If a genie came and was like “yes”

R: Yes! If you can play the piano, you know.

N: The world’s your oyster!

R: Yeah, you can do anything. You can write – if you’ve got a computer as well you can program it all in, and you can write anything you want on the piano and play it on a different instrument on the old Mac, and then, yeah, when you need to re-record it get someone else to do it. And yeah, that’d be amazing.

N: What’s the best place you’ve ever played, the best set-up. Maybe it was the green room, maybe it was the audience, or maybe it was the actual stage – the best place you’ve ever played. Alexandra Palace? Sold out

R: That was amazing, but it was still a different kind of experience I guess, because, as your own show, I think it’s really hard, in my experience anyway, to fully enjoy big pressure shows like that. So many people, all there to see you, you feel like you’ve got to put on the best show of your life. And you wanna do that, and you try. It’s hard to enjoy it. It was weird, I didn’t think I was nervous but when I was on stage, you just forget what’s even going on. I can’t remember anything because it just happened so quickly – so excited – and I d love that but there was a show I think, probably, as an experience…. [shouts] Tommy!

T [in the distance]: Verona!

R: Yeah. I think we’d all agree Verona. We played at, it’s an Ampitheatre. An old Roman ampitheatre

N: A Palladio Ampitheatre?

R: A what?

N: It doesn’t matter, I’m doing some architecture. Doesn’t matter! [laughs]

R: Oh okay! [laughs] It was, you know, used for a beautiful big collosseum kind of thing. Like how you’d expect. Obviously not as big as the one in Rome, but everything was intact. Open air. Amazing acoustics, crazy how good it sounded when it’s just stone. Unreal. And we played as the sun was setting, so we walked out on stage, beautiful sunshine, as we were playing and by the time we finished it was kind of night, so we got the full effect of all the, you know

N: Italian romance?

R: Yeah, it was really breathtaking.

N: So, the big day is tomorrow – the release – how do you feel? Totally amped up for the tour? Fit ready to go? Excited? Or all whirlwindy?

R: We never really feel that fit and ready for a tour. That would be a massive lie if I said we were. We always panic.

N: Do you sleep and eat well when on tour?

R: You sleeep really well because you’re just so knackered all the time. I sleep like a baby because, you’re on stage every night, you’re going out all the time.

N: You feel content at the end of the day because you’ve done a good job?

R: Yeah. There’s nothing worse than sitting at home all day on your computer, or being on your phone, and then watching a couple of episodes of something trying to get to sleep and not being able to get to sleep. Because you’ve done nothing all day, just been sat around. So being able to jump around, get tired, it’s great. You sleep really well. You don’t really eat very well though, sandwiches after sandwich, and a lot of fast food. But we try our best. And it normally takes a few days. We’re kind of like geared up for it, and it takes about 2 or 3 days for us to feel like “you’re on tour now”, and to get your fitness back. The first hour or two, it’s such a different sort of exercise. Jumping around on stage. It’s not something you can really practice! We tried when we were on tour. So I think in a few days we’ll be good to go!

N: Good! Well have an epic tour, and enjoy the gig tonight. Looking forward to it!

R: Thank you very much! Thanks for having me!

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Album Review: The Golden Age of Not Even Trying – Dead!

“It’s punk, but it’s not just punk – there’s straight-up rock at times”

Guitar music certainly isn’t dead, as Dead! prove in their explosively charged debut album. It’s been a long-awaited album, not just for the band’s fans (of which I definitely count myself amongst the ranks of, and even more so after the release of their first full-length record) but for the band themselves as well. By all accounts it’s not been the easiest road for the band – in the announcement for their debut, they list ‘two guitarists, five drummers, four broken bones, two crushed wrists, a van wiped out by a truck’ as things they got through to reach the point they’re currently at, but they’ve shown themselves to be the epitome of what DIY is about, and produced an absolutely incredible debut record.

I first discovered Dead! when they were the support band for Blondie’s gig at the Roundhouse last year, and I instantly loved their music – it was exciting and something I knew I wanted to listen more to, and I’ve been waiting (not very) patiently for their debut album ever since, and it certainly did not disappoint. It’s punk, but it’s not just punk – there’s straight-up rock at times, riffs that resemble the best of ‘90s grunge, and even an almost indie feel in the case of the track ‘Jessica’. It’s a perfectly imperfect mix of styles, and ambitious though it might be, it certainly pays off and culminates in the band’s distinct sound, and what is already one of my favourite albums of 2018, even though we’re a mere 28 days into the year at the time of writing.

It’s difficult to pick the standout songs of the album, when every single track is as good or better than the next – the band self-released a number of singles before the album, and in all reality they could have released track from their debut album as a single because they genuinely are all that good. ‘Enough, Enough, Enough’ is definitely one of my favourites, with its heavy, driving riffs, as is ‘You’re So Cheap’, a song which although it starts off comparatively slower than a number of tracks on the album, ends up becoming something you instantly want to head-bang to. ‘A Conversation With Concrete’ also stands out and is one of my favourite tracks, which is a definite compliment when considering every song is a standout. The Golden Age of Not Even Trying is a superb debut album, and if it’s anything to go by, then Dead! have big things ahead of them.

Dead! play the 100 Club in London on the 1st February, tickets available from

Review by Phoebe Hagan

Concert Review: The Killers

“The Lads Are Back.”

Bright lights reminiscent of the Las Vegas strip beamed from the sold out O2 arena’s main stage. The Killers front man, Brandon Flowers, stepped out with his band mates and the 20,000 strong crowd went wild, hysteric screams filled the arena to welcome one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century.

The dazzling backdrop was nostalgic of Glastonbury’s pyramid stage which baptised the boys to legendary status back in 2007, a stage shared with the likes of the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. The support act Juanita Stein didn’t particularly exceed expectations but eager fans lapped it up as they anticipated the stars of the night.

The first track ‘Wonderful, Wonderful’ and title of their 5th studio album which came out in September turned the viewers suspense into delight. Flowers had the entire arena hooked on his every word, charming and flamboyant he embodied the rock and roll front man that saw his rise to fame. Chic from head to toe; Ted Sablay who stepped in from Dave Keuning as lead guitarist on this tour seamlessly soloed over polished visuals. The band were on top form, not falling into the pretentious trap of only playing new material, they bellowed out nostalgic songs ‘Somebody told me’ and ‘Spaceman’ Intertwined with new material ‘The Man’ and ‘Life to Come’ seats were left empty as the crowd stood in apprehension for the next number.

Three female backing vocalists, each adorned in sequined floor length dresses captivated the left of the stage. A low intergalactic bass line absorbed the silence, a few teaser symph notes, and Drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr aptly placed at the top of a glistening staircase kicked off a drum beat that reverberated through the arena. Blue strobe lights met the electric guitar, smoke machines filled the stage; another classic ‘Smile like you mean it’ bought the term hysteria to a whole new level.

Energy went from high to higher ‘Mr. Brightside’ an anthem performed at every Killer’s gig saw Flowers return to stage in a head-to-toe gold sparkled suit oozing Vegas, baby. Entire generations of families, standing in seats not only for the encore but for the majority of the concert; The Killers rocked London like it was their home town.

Review by: Nici Ridge

ALBUM REVIEW: Gumboot Soup – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

“Every song exemplifies an aspect of what makes King Gizzard and their sound so great”

Well, the psych-rock seven-piece from Melbourne, Australia, only went and did it didn’t they – they held fast to their promise, and released five albums in 2017. Yep, you read that correctly – the band released five full-length albums in one year, each with its own concept and unique sound, ranging from the psych-jazz collaboration with Mild High Club, Sketches of Brunswick East, to the dark and apocalyptic Murder of the Universe.

Gumboot Soup, released on New Year’s Eve, is unique out of the four as whilst the album does undoubtedly have some form of flow to it, it doesn’t have its own specific style – it’s a mix of songs that didn’t quite make it onto the previous four albums released earlier in the year. That isn’t to say that it isn’t an incredible album, however – the album is something of a greatest hits album for songs that haven’t actually been released yet. Every song exemplifies an aspect of what makes King Gizzard and their sound so great, and so unlike anything else around at the moment. These are not reject songs – they’re songs that just didn’t exactly fit the strong concept of the album they were originally intended to feature on, and it’s a testament to King Gizz’s commitment to creating high-quality concept albums and knowing their own music that they knew when to sacrifice songs from appearing on a record for the sake of the album as a whole.

The album never comes out and exactly says that it’s a miss-match of songs from the band’s previous albums, and guitarist and vocalist (also keyboardist, AND flute player) Stu Mackenzie has said that they had focussed more on the individual songs rather than an overall concept or theme or their latest album, but fans of the band can easily tell which album each song was supposed to have belonged to. Many of the songs have a sound reminiscent of the band’s third 2017 album, Sketches of Brunswick East – opening track ‘Beginner’s Luck’ is a blissed out, ‘70s psych folk/rock jam, with ‘Barefoot Desert’ very much leaning towards the jazz end of things. My favourite tracks from the album are those that share the sound of Murder of the Universe, King Gizz’s second album from last year and arguably the band’s most conceptual work, telling the story of the destruction of the universe by a vomiting robot in three defining chapters of the record. It’s my favourite out of all King Gizzard’s albums so it’s not really a surprise that ‘Greenhouse Heat Death’, ‘The Great Chain of Being’, and ‘All Is Known’ are my standout tracks from Gumboot Soup. They’re heavy and dirty and it’s alternative and psych rock at its absolute best.

Gumboot Soup was a hell of a way to end what was already a ridiculously strong and successful year for the band, and they certainly don’t look like they’ll be stopping anytime soon.

Review by: Phoebe Hagan

ONE SENTENCE REVIEW: “I Can’t Quit” – The Vaccines

The music team review the first song to be released off the Vaccines new album, Combat Sports, “I Can’t Quit”. The short, punchy and high energy song has made waves in the indie community but what does the music team think of it?

Libby – Very catchy and easy to listen to! Can’t say I understand the video entirely though

Jake – Another catchy classic from the Vaccines, hope the album is as good as this!

Nuray – it’s good, but not as tuneful as their other songs (sorry..)

Jamie – Catchy, singable, sure to be played a many a pre-drink

Ryan – Upbeat and catchy, a good song to walk to, I’m a fan

Eamonn – a nice stocking filler but nothing to write home about — the vocal ‘oohs’ in the chorus manage to come off as pretty and nostalgic rather than dated though, which is something

Pheobe – It’s very Vaccines-y, not my favourite of theirs but it’s very much in keeping with their style of indie music best played at festivals

Maddie – With such a catchy hook, you’re going to find yourself humming this around the house – definitely one for the waking up playlist!

Harry – The Vaccines always produce great music and this single is no exception. Excited for more!

Madeline – A classic Vaccines tune. Beautifully catchy and upbeat, with calmer interludes

Chloe – Having listened to the song “I Can’t Quit” by The Vaccines, I found myself swaying from side to side singing the ‘oohs’ from the chorus; it has that kind of effect

Looks like I Can’t Quit will be entering a lot of peoples playlists in the future. This is just what we think, go and have a listen to the track and see if you agree!

Sigrid – Insanity at Reading

Concert Review: Kodaline

The O2 Apollo in Manchester was full of Kodaline fans of all ages on the 8th December. I think that’s the great thing about Kodaline’s music, they’re the kind of songs you can sing with your younger siblings and your parents alike. For those of you who have never heard a Kodaline song you probably have because they’re an underrated band that most people have heard of in some way. Do you watch Channel 4’s hit Gogglebox? Well the theme tune is Kodaline’s Brand New Day! I have to say that was a particular favourite during the show this weekend.


The open act was fellow Irish artist Áine Cahill whose vocals you could not fault. Her lyrics had a Lucy Spraggan kind of vibe. Her songs had a common theme of fake people and situations which sounds slightly bitter but her voice had the opposite effect and put you at ease. One of the stand out moments of her opening set was her mash up on Lana del Ray’s Young and Beautiful and Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. You would think that those songs would clash but somehow, she found a way to combine them into a masterpiece. You can check out some of her original songs on her youtube channel, I’d recommend Blood Diamonds!


Do you ever worry that when you go to a gig they’ll only play their new album, which let’s be honest you can’t sing off by heart as well as you could with the old classics? Well that wasn’t a problem at all with Kodaline. The Irish band found the perfect balance between their old albums Coming Up For Air and In A Perfect World and their new songs. The reception of their new songs amongst the crowd on Friday suggests that they have a hit on the way! The band interacted throughout with the crowd and during their encore revealed that their new album is planned to drop in the new year. Keep an eye out people!


They opened with Ready to Change which could not have been a more perfect opener! It starts off slow to ease the crowd in and evolves into an all-round crowd pleaser. It had every member of the audience throwing their arms in the air and attempting to hit the high notes in the ohhhsssss. For me some of the stand out moments were Brother, The One and Honest. Even in those four songs there is such a mix in energy. The gig ranged from vibrant energetic performances which had the crowd singing back to the band at the top of their lungs to acoustic solo performances by lead singer Steve Garrigan. It was everything you could want in a gig.


I first discovered Kodaline because of a youtube channel called the Mahogany Sessions which I would recommend for all indie music lovers. The channel just has a knack for discovering the next big thing. They had performances by: fellow Irishman Hozier, JP Cooper, Jack Garratt, Birdy, Vance Joy, George Ezra, Bastille, James Bay and many more before they got big! Kodaline performed High Hopes and Big Bad World in their first Mahogany Sessions four years ago and blew my mind. Their live performance in Manchester topped their Mahogany Session which I did not think was possible. They’ve recently gone back to the channel to perform I Wouldn’t Be which is their latest single so give that a listen. I Wouldn’t Be is a very humbling track which has a slight Amber Run vibe to it. Don’t you hate it when artists just get a bit too big for their boots? Well this song shows that Kodaline have not let success go to their heads!


Make sure you follow all of Kodaline’s social media so you don’t miss the album drop and can keep up to date about upcoming gigs. I would 100% recommend seeing them. If you fancy really pushing the boat out, they’re doing the festival circuit again next summer so you can see them at Neighbourhood Weekender and TRNSMT Festival.

ALBUM REVIEW: Polygondwanaland – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

‘The Australian band’s fourth album of 2017 is a synth heavy psychedelic masterpiece’.

Polygondwanaland is King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s fourth album of 2017. Not their fourth album overall – this record actually marks the Australian bands’ twelfth release since their 2012 debut, 12 Bar Bruise – but their fourth album released this very year, with the band due to release another before the year is out. Ambitious it might be, but the imaginatively named King Gizzard are just that – imaginative, and each album released so far this year is nothing short of incredible. Polygondwanaland is no different.

So far, 2017 has seen King Gizz release Microtonal Banana (an album composed of only microtonal tunings), Murder of the Universe (split into three parts, with the last chronicling the destruction of the world by a vomiting robot), Sketches of Brunswick East (a psych-jazz fusion collaboration with Mild High Club), and now, Polygondwanaland, an album which is not only polyrhythmic, hence the album’s name, but also completely free. The band released the record through a dropbox and online links, letting fans listen to it for completely free, as well as encouraging people to produce their own CDs and vinyl, and if that’s not a revolutionary idea in a world where music and music streaming is becoming ever-increasingly money-focussed, I don’t know what is.

Polygondwanaland is its own album, but it also seamlessly links to the psychedelic rock band’s other offerings from this past year – Leah Senior, the narrator from Murder of the Universe returns on track ‘The Castle in the Air’, and the opening track, ‘Crumbling Castles’, features a riff recognisable from ‘People-Vultures’, off Nonagon Infinity, their 2016 never-ending album (seriously, look it up. Each song joins onto the next, meaning that in theory, the album can be shuffled non-stop forever). ‘Crumbling Castles’, the opening track, is a ten-minute example of King Gizzard at their psychedelic best, and, honestly, might be one of the best things I’ve heard this entire year. Polygondwanaland is more synth-heavy than King Gizzard’s previous albums, but it still fits so perfectly with King Gizzard’s sound – a sound that is almost impossible to describe, but one that they’ve so completely made their own. Frontman Stu Mackenzie’s vocals are truly superb on the entire record, and evolve and adapt to fit each song, with a decidedly more staccato tone than heard on other albums, and this is heard particularly on the album’s title track, a stunning mix of synth and psych-blues bass.

Mackenzie doesn’t just provide vocals, however – back to back songs ‘Loyalty’ and ‘Horology’ feature his flute playing on top of what starts off as a mellow bit of psych blues, before adding guitar (Mackenzie also plays both electric and acoustic guitar for the band, as well as synth and percussion, with the rest of the band being comprised of Michael Cavanagh on drums and percussion, Cook Craig on electric guitar and synth, Ambrose Kenny-Smith on harmonica and vocals, Lucas Skinner on bass and synth, Joey Walker on electric and acoustic guitars, bass, synth, vocals and percussion, and Eric Moore, the band’s manager, as well as drummer and percussionist), and a clear example of the polyrhythms that gave their name in part to the album’s title. The last three songs of the album are, for me, the standout tracks of the record – ‘Tetrachromacy’, ‘Searching…’, and ‘The Fourth Colour’, which signal something of a change within the album, with less synth particularly on ‘The Fourth Colour’, a song which itself almost constantly changes musical styles throughout its six minutes, and instead features guitars which sound almost reminiscent of Television’s ‘Marquee Moon’. The ending of ‘The Fourth Colour’ is electric, every bit a psychedelic experience, and is the perfect end for such a journey of an album.

Polygondwanaland is proof, if anymore was needed, that King Gizzard are one of the most exciting, innovative and talented bands currently creating, and with one more album due to be released before 2017 is out, it’s doesn’t look like they’re going to stop creating wildly imaginative concept albums anytime soon.

Review by: Phoebe Hagan 

Concert Review: Nina Nesbitt

The Garage venue in London was full of Nina Nesbitt’s fans on the 20th November. I found a place to stand among the crowd and managed to catch the last couple of songs from support act Goody Grace. His song ‘Pretend’ began with acoustic guitar finger picking and the opening lyrics ‘f*** you’ which juxtaposed the delightful intro. The song’s lyrics were clever and insightful, accompanied by the acoustic guitar; it was a very good first impression of Goody. For the final song of his set he played ‘Two Shots’ which had a completely different vibe to ‘Pretend’; evident of Goody’s diversity. To the steady beat he had the crowd swaying with two fingers in the air as he sung the lyrics ‘I just took two shots’ hyping up the audience for Nina’s set.

A stage adorned with lotus flowers, the fans and hipsters out in their masses, The Garage was ready for Nina Nesbitt. She started with one of her recent releases ‘The Moments I’m Missing’ before saying she was going to throw it back to 2012. All the fans knew what was coming, if the room wasn’t already exciting, the tension just built. We weren’t disappointed. Picking up her guitar she strummed the riffs of her first release, beloved by her fans ‘Apple Tree.’ I first heard this song when it was released, and I was 14, 5 years on I was singing the lyrics and dancing along with the rest of the audience, loving it. She then cleverly transitioned ‘Apple Tree’ into ‘Stay Out’ which calls out people on a night out ‘stay out and see through my eyes’ her clever lyrics exposing fake people ‘they think they’re from the sixties, but they were born in 1991’.

I always appreciate a bit of chat and banter from the performer, Nina got the audience to sing along (although I’m quite sure they would have without invitation), and admitted her new album, which is out early next year, is yet unnamed and has the working title NN2. By the end of the night fans were cheering ‘NN2!’, perhaps the name will stick? She played a few new songs from the album too, my favourite of which was ‘Colder.’ This song captivated the audience. Where we had been swaying and singing along Nina now held the audience on her every word with the beautiful melody and lyrics of her new song.

Her gig was diverse. She moved from old songs to recent releases and even to new songs. Many of her lyrics are, and she admitted it, about relationships, many about heartbreak or moving on. This had the potential to bring down the mood but each of her songs take a different view point and this diversity kept it upbeat. About one of her more upbeat songs ‘Chewing Gum’, she said she wrote it when she was single ‘which was fun.’ To contrast she played ‘Ontario’, written from inspiration from a letter she received from a fan and instantly wrote the song. It’s about when you start liking someone and then find out they already have someone she explained.

She was so involved in creating the music on stage, swapping instruments each song, even mid-way through jumping from a drum pad to piano. It seemed like she really enjoyed herself on stage and the audience loved it.


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.

Concert Review: INHEAVEN

The October 17th gig at Scala was something of a homecoming for the South London indie-rock band, and what a homecoming it was.

Having released their self-titled album in September, it’s been an exciting couple of months for INHEAVEN, and if there was one word that I would use to sum up the gig, it would be just that – exciting. The band have been releasing music since their 2015 single ‘Regeneration’ – a single which so caught the attention of The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas that he released it on his record label, CULT RECORDS, and despite having only been together for a relatively short period of time, it’s clear that INHEAVEN are one of the most exciting new bands to have ventured onto the indie-rock scene in recent years, and are definitely one to keep a close eye on.

They were supported by two bands – the four-piece indie rock group BLOXX from West London, and King Nun, a rock band signed to Dirty Hit, the same label that artists including Wolf Alice, Pale Waves and The 1975 are signed to, and a label that has been responsible for putting out some of the most exciting indie and indie-rock of recent years. There’s the age-old saying that you often find your new favourite band after seeing them support the band you originally booked to see, and it’s a saying that is definitely true for me in the case of BLOXX and King Nun. I’m loathe to use the word exciting again, but it’s incredibly applicable to both these bands. BLOXX have already released four singles so far in 2017, including ‘Curtains’, a song featuring heavy guitars and incredible vocals from frontwoman Ophelia Booth. ‘Coke’ is another standout, as are ‘You’ and ‘Your Boyfriend’ – in fact, every song in BLOXX’s set is a standout, and points to very, very bright things for the band’s future. As for the second support act, King Nun – words can do little to properly explain just how much energy this band exude on stage, and how exciting (drinking game: take one drink every time Phoebe uses the word ‘exciting’ in this article) both the band and their music are. The singer and guitarist, Theo, spent more time jumping about in the air than with his feet on the stage, and honestly, I could write another entire article about King Nun. All I can say is that you absolutely need to go and listen to them right now – ‘Tulip’ and ‘Speakerface’ are my particular favourite singles.

INHEAVEN are a band that are incredibly visually focused – singer and bassist Chloe Little was a film student before she was in the band, and many of the band’s songs start life as visual clips that then inspire songs to be written. Little also directs a number of INHEAVEN’S music videos, and the band has spoken in the past about wanting to try and bring some of that attention to visual detail to their live shows – this is incredibly evident, with a distressed looking American flag referencing the lyrics of ‘Baby’s Alright’, and roses decorating mic stands and all other available spaces. The four piece band, made up of Little (vocals, bass), James Taylor (vocals, guitar), Joe Lazarus (drums), and Jake Lucas (guitar), played a fourteen song set, playing the entirety of their debut album, alongside some B-Sides of singles that didn’t make it onto their debut. INHEAVEN’s debut album is one of those rare albums that doesn’t contain a single song that could be seen as a weak-link, and this showed during the gig, with the band playing tune after brilliant, high-energy tune. Each song is better than the next, from the almost 80’s new wave inspired ‘Stupid Things’ to the raw and gritty ‘World On Fire’ – the song which saw the first mosh pit of the evening, encouraged by singer/guitarist Taylor. INHEAVEN’s music is also exciting (there’s that word again) in that it doesn’t seem to fit quite into one genre – at times it feels like it could be from the 2007 height of indie music, or from the ‘80s art and college rock scene, and it could definitely also fit into the grunge genre at times. Little cites her inspirations as being Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, Siouxsie Sioux and Debbie Harry, and these influences are very apparent within their music. Other standout songs include ‘Bitter Town’, ‘Real Love’, and ‘Vultures’, a song that mixes Little and Taylor’s vocals perfectly to create a high-energy punk rock banger. INHEAVEN have only just started, and I can’t wait to find out what else they have in store.

Review by: Phoebe Hagan

ONE SENTENCE REVIEW: ‘Spent the Day in Bed’- Morrissey

The music team review Morrissey’s single ‘Spent the Day in Bed’ from his new album ‘Low in High School.’ The track’s lyrics encourage listeners to stay in bed backed by electric piano and synths. Does our music team think Morrissey has another hit on his hands? Find out below…

Laura: It sounds like a parody of Morrissey, but I kinda want it as my alarm ringtone.

Molly: Sounds like Morrissey’s auditioning for Lazy Town.

Phoebe: I wasn’t sure if I liked it the first time I listened to it, so I listened to it again and realised I really hate it.

Emmanuel: Hey at least I have a new ringtone for my nokia phone.

Todd: Spent three minutes in hell.

Joe: Moz it’s time to stop.

Mitch: It just didn’t need to exist.

Jamie: Feels like a ringtone you’d bluetooth your friends on the bus in 2008.

Harry: I wanted to turn it off about quarter of the way through but other people were listening to it.

Ryan: It’s like when you were 8 and tried to use nokia’s ringtone maker.


It would seem not. This is just what we think, go and have a listen to the track to see if you agree.