2015.12.05 :: Danko Jones :: Brooklyn Bowl London

Posted on Monday December 7th in

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2015.12.05 :: Danko Jones w/ Lucifer & Miraculous Mule :: Brooklyn Bowl London

Words by Matt Stocks
Photos by Trudi Knight

It’s a wonderfully mixed bag in the Brooklyn Bowl tonight. We arrive at 7pm to find families bowling on one side of the room, and rock ‘n’ rollers in Thin Lizzy t-shirts patiently waiting to be shaken on the other. But that’s the beauty of this place: all punters are made to feel equally welcome. It’s just up to you whether you want to wear bowling shoes or dancing shoes. Or both…

Miraculous Mule are the first band of the evening, taking to the stage in their sharp suits and trilby hats at 8pm sharp, after we’d had ample time to sample some of the mouthwatering items on offer in the food and drinks department.

Their straight-up pub rock is an increasingly rare style of music these days, and it leaves us wondering what will happen when these old school bands die out. They just don’t make them like this anymore. They swig back on pints of beer in between songs of hard rocking, blues-driven boogie-woogie, which they play with the confidence and competence of a band that have been together for years – probably because they have – and the tone for the evening is set: expect plenty of good old fashioned, no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll.

Next up, it’s the awe inspiring (not to mention earth shaking) Lucifer. Just as Miraculous Mule appear to have walked straight out of an east end boozer where they could’ve spent the last 40 years playing pub rock, these four long-haired nomads, fronted by the bewitching Johanna Sadonis (formerly of The Oath), appear on stage to eerie retro horror music, and their riff-laden doom metal is as steeped in ‘70s nostalgia as the garage-punk blues-rock played previously.

As we watch these two contemporary bands that appear to have landed at the Brooklyn Bowl from a bygone era, we’re transported back to a vintage time in rock ‘n’ roll. And the transformative qualities of the venue only serve to heighten the experience: the layout, the lighting, the bowling lanes, the bar, the in-between band music…it all adds to the timeless, sweeping feel of the evening. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, enter our man Danko Jones.

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If you’ve ever met Danko off-stage, or listened to the Danko Jones Podcast, you’ll know that he’s one of the politest, nicest, down-to-earth dudes there is. On stage, he’s an entirely different animal, and that’s what makes his shows so exhilarating. The band might not be big as Bon Jovi, but like our boy Jon Bon, Danko has seen a million faces and rocked them all. He’s a seasoned vet, who when he takes to the stage is on a mission from the Devil to entertain.

His cocksure stage persona is pure attitude and swagger, and you can bet your mortgage on the fact that he has the tunes to back it up: with songs off the first record like “Rock Shit Hot”, up to his most recent release and songs such as “Do You Wanna Rock”. (Notice a pattern here? Note: the key word is ROCK.)

Throw in a Misfits cover, belly-laughter-inducing crowd banter, and more cowbell than Mötley Crüe’s first album and that Saturday Night Live sketch with Christopher Walken combined, and what you’re left with is a world class rock ‘n’ roll show. That’s exactly what we get from Danko Jones tonight. It’s just a shame even more people weren’t here to see it, because they missed out on one hell of a show.

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As he winds up his set Danko has a playful dig at Coldplay, who’ve sold out the main O2 Arena room next door, stating that more of their fans should’ve come to “the smaller room to see me”, but that he’d also rather be in the smaller room “with the real rock ‘n’ roll fans” – before adding that if anyone had a hook up in the Coldplay camp, could they get Danko a slot on tour. “I’m a whore, and I know what I need to do to get gigs”, he cheekily adds. If he didn’t have the whole crowd in the palm of his hands before that exchange, he certainly does by the end.

He came, he rocked, he conquered. Coldplay, make the call…


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