“Over 14’s? I reckon I can pass for that” – message on the Hadouken! fan forum. Yep, the kids were out in force for this one and that, for any grumpy old men out there, was no bad thing. There was a palpable sense of excitement in the venue and when Does It Offend You, Yeah? took to the stage the screams of delight were louder than I’d ever experienced for any support band in this place. Ever.
The hype around DIOYY has been building for a while and for those of us that have been watching them for a while it was interesting to see how the bedroom-generated tracks would translate to the live set-up. Very well apparently, although not without mishap but the opening numbers of the set were frenetic enough that no-one noticed.
First song – bassist/vocalist James stepped on his power cable but the show carried on regardless with their second vocalist/cowbell hammerer jumping in. Second song – first crowd surfer seen. Third song – two girls are seen staggering back through the crowd to clean up after a glow-stick malfunction.
This was only DIOYY’s sixth outing as a band and so it’d be hard to judge them harshly for a lack of stagecraft. It’s something they need to work on but in the meantime the recruitment of an energetic hype man with a neat line in hat-swiping is a step in the right direction. Still, they’ve got the tunes to back them up – the grinding groove of Weird Science works an exhilaratingly dirty riff and set closer We Are Rockstars has half the room jumping. Honestly, I’ve never seen a support band manage that – these boys are set for bigger things.
Hadouken!’s main man James doesn’t lack for much in terms of generating a rapport with the crowd. His rapid-fire, tartly delivered lyrics are backed up by the relentless band behind him, all heavy synths and beats. The reason they seem to attract such a young crowd becomes quite apparent – not the sort of band to sling in a ballad for breath-catching purposes, the young uns are the only ones that can keep up. I’m not complaining about the energy the band can sustain, but it’s a bit one-paced without a few troughs to show off the peaks.
Oh, so I am complaining, but still, the high point of the evening was a blitz through new single Liquid Lives with the crowd singing along and the “drink, smoke, fuck fight” chant rousing the rabble especially. The singalong carried on with the crowd providing the intro to Tuning In too.
Scoring points (with me at least) for refusing to go through the rigmarole of the faux-encore they deliver a final, destructive That Boy, That Girl and exit the stage leaving a ragged, sweaty and very happy crowd.