Danko Jones, The Amorettes @ Sound Control
Anthony Firmin witnesses the dichotomy of Danko
Imagine going to a gig and being told by the artist to write a really bad review of their performance. Well that is precisely what happened at this very gig.
The support act was The Amorettes, an all girl three-piece from Scotland who play high-energy rock 'n' roll and have toured earlier in the year on the Black Star Riders/Europe shindig. Their style is fun but hard hitting classic rock, very much in the style of Rock Goddess, Girlschool and The Runaways. The songs are catchy and are keeping the appreciative audience on their toes with plenty of crowd participation, especially on set closer Hot n' Heavy.
The band supplied song after song of high intensity classic heavy rock to a mostly make crowd who lapped it up like little kittens. With bassist Heather McKay pulling all the poses and facial expressions you would expect, her sister and drummer Hannah McKay providing a solid beat at the back and which guitarist/singer Gill Montgomery was able to layer some ferocious guitar licks over. The Amorettes are very good and if classic rock is your thing then you need to check them out.
Interest in Danko Jones was reignited this year when Classic Rock Magazine issued a best of CD, the band complementing this with a new album, Fire Music.
Danko Jones is a man who knows how to express himself and he knows how to handle the crowd with his banter – informing us these songs are all about sex – and caters to the audience's needs. Each and every song the band plays is dispatched with gusto and it is one hell of a performance they are delivering. That is until about halfway through when he sees me up against the barrier taking notes…
He asks me 'Hey, are you reviewing this gig?,' I respond in the affirmative and show my Manchester Rocks t-shirt. 'Cool' he says, 'I need you to write a really bad review of this gig, tell us how awful we were, tell us how much we suck, because when we read that it will motivate us, it will make us put in so much more effort at the next gig.' This wasn’t the Lovercall, this was the Reviewercall. And if I didn't do as he asked was I going to end up in the trunk of the White Cadillac?
Now this is not a scenario I have come across before, nor is it one I am likely to encounter again. And I do not advocate this sort of approach as it could easily backfire on both of us. So what do I do? Do I say that this gig really sucks, when it is seriously rocking and the band are on fire? Or do I just ignore him? To be honest my job is just to critique the show and not get involved in dichotomies such as this!
For the moment lets just get back to the gig…
There is no need for improvisation or enhancement with the songs, they are delivered as is, full on and in your face. Nothing here needs to be over analysed. And there is no need for Jones to involve the audience as they are all joining in anyway. The classics, both new and old, just kept on coming: Forget My Name, Die Die My Darling, First Date, Do You Wanna Rock, Legs, Cadillac, Lovercall through to Gonna Be A Fight Tonight. The crowd was laid to waste, so for the encore there was a definite need for Body Bags. In total a blistering 21 song set and no one left unhappy as this was a quality performance with no space for manoeuvre. These are songs designed to get your attention, high on quality without any need for polish.
I left the venue grinning, it was such a great performance. But if you are reading this Danko Jones… it sucked in every respect, BIG TIME!!
Images & Words: Anthony Firmin