You know when you can tell the old fans from the new ones? Yeah that happened almost as soon as I walked in the room tonight, it’s not a bad thing but it’s distinct. There are lads with neck beards repping old school Priorities merch stood amongst lads and lasses in dresses and shirts but no one seems to mind.
MassMatiks open up the stage and rather quickly get the crowd on their side. They’re basically a four-piece Slaves and they own the image well. The front man is all over the stage along with guitarist Joe Turner. 4am goes down a treat and they even get the crowd down on the floor during their closing song. They’re a cheeky bunch and I can see them going far. By the time they’re leaving the stage the temperature has risen at least 10 degrees and everyone is feeling it.
By the time Don Broco come out everyone is already covered in a thin layer of sweat but well and truly up for it, evidenced by the way everyone starts bouncing and a pit erupts within the first chords of Priorities. I have no idea what it is that constitutes a born entertainer is but Rob Damiani has it, he has that cheeky smile on his face from walking out on stage to leaving an hour later.
The lads dig deep and play through the classics without a hitch, until Actors that is. Damiani stops before it begins to encourage a little crowd surfing and it all gets a little chaotic from there on out. Twelve surfers have been and gone then out of nowhere a surfer appears on the balcony and jumps over the edge before anyone could stop him. Tom Doyle, bassist, looks horrified with his mouth hanging open whilst drummer, Matt Donnelly misses a beat (mind you, it was the only beat he missed all night) in shock. Of course the guy is absolutely fine but it’s safe to say he threw a bit of a wildcard at the band (and the unsuspected gig-goers below him).
The boys finish up there, a little bewildered after apparently forgetting Newcastle’s antics after such a long break from us. The encore goes off without a hitch as Si Delaney goes wild during Everybody, nailing that big riff whilst the audience have clearly done their homework, belting out the ‘No one’s ever seen me like that’ louder than Rob and Matt can muster.
Lastly they deliver Thug Workout, a welcome piece of fan service. The crowd are loving it and the pits are opening as Rob has his Cheshire grin on as he and Tom thrust in time to the beat. Naturally the push-ups commence and again all hell breaks loose as a wall of death ensues. The newer fans look a little intimidated but the older fans look like they’re finally home.
All in all they put on a good show and even though it’s been four years since the release of Priorities back at Camden Barfly in 2012 the songs stood up well as did the band’s ability to play them after a year of Automatic. They’re an absolute pleasure and I wish them the best with the rest of their tour.