Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015

Danko-Jones_4 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015

 

© Olga Kuzmenko

Photos by Olga Kuzmenko

http://www.olgakuzmenko.com/

Words by Brian Boyle

 

All girl rock bands are often looked upon with massive amounts of suspicion and derision. Their live performances can be at times patronisingly applauded by pockets of lump head Neanderthals whose musical knowledge would be at best, pitiful. However, no such problems with The Amorettes. The Edinburgh girls casually strutted onto the tiny Whelan’s stage and wasted no time in getting the Dublin crowd bang onside. I witnessed these girls back in March when they played support on the Europe/Black Star Riders tour and they took a lot of people well by surprise that night. With just a half hour set, they packed in an exuberant seven songs, mainly consisting of tunes from their latest album, Game On. With the opener, Give ’Em Hell, lead singer and guitarist Gill Montgomery and bassist Heather McKay stared down the crowd like seasoned pros. The unabated pace of their set was ramped up by the metal assault of Bull By The Horns, and by the time they introduced closer Hot And Heavy they were home and dry. Their youthful effervescence well and truly left a deep impression tonight.

 

The Amorettes set list:
Give ’Em Hell
Get What’s Coming
Bull By The Horns
Too Much Is Never Enough
Heartbreaker
Shoot From The Hip
Hot And Heavy 

 

The last time Danko Jones graced Dublin was as support to Guns ‘n’ Roses at the ill fated 02 arena show in 2010. Due to Mr Axl’s horrendous time keeping, he was forced to appease the crowd with a seventy five minute set. He retold that storytonight with more than a hint of exaggeration and sarcasm.
But tonight he was calling the shots, and at 9.30pm sharp the insanely charismatic Canadian stomped onto the stage with purpose, ready for action. The front of the stage was lined with hardcore Danko Jones fans who word for word enthusiastically roared along with opening tracks The Rules and Play The Blues. It wasn’t until the fifth track that new album Fire Music got its first airing. The punk rock vibes of The Twisting Knife went down a virtual storm with the crowd, who by this early stage were practically worshiping the great man.
Danko-Jones_5 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015 Danko-Jones_2 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015 Danko-Jones_1 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015

Although he performs his music with a brilliantly controlled ferocity, at times his interaction with the crowd is just as compelling. When he addressed, as he called it “the big fucking elephant in the room“, meaning the empty balcony above, it drew a loud belt of laughter, but when he topped it off with “we’re not looking but we know it’s fucking there“, he had his disciples in stitches.

After a nasty rendition of Misfits Dye, Dye My Darling and 1999’s Samuel Sin he brought out one of the big guns, the always reliable First Date. From the second his white Gibson SG rang out those familiar first chords, Whelan’s in Dublin was in weekend party mode. The rousing chorus had Danko’s followers raising their pint glasses precariously high, but I don’t think a bit of beer spillage could dampen the mood inside this venue tonight.

Danko-Jones_3 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015 Danko-Jones_6 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015

Of course it isn’t all about Mr Jones up there, bassist and wingman John Calabrese provided a pounding backbone all night, and new man Rich Knox who’s drumming, without a shadow of a doubt, brings a whole new dimension to the Danko Jones live sound.

New songs Do You Wanna Rock, Watch You Slide and Gonna Be A Fight Tonight already sound roadworthy, and they stood their ground tonight against the old Danko favourites.
Although Danko Jones roots are predominately rooted in punk rock, tonight lay bare the influence Phil Lynott and the music of Thin Lizzy had on his career. This was not a stunt to soft soap a room full of tipsy Dubliner’s; there was a genuine tone in his speech. And that was doubly appreciated when he burst into Lizzy classic Are You Ready.

Danko promised he’d be back as soon as that “big fucking elephant in the room” is full.

Danko-Jones_7 Danko Jones/The Amorettes live at Whelan’s, Dublin September 18th 2015
Danko Jones set list:
The Rules
Play The Blues
Sugar Chocolate
Forget My Name
The Twisting Knife
Die, Die My Darling (Misfits cover)
Samuel Sin
First Date
Do You Wanna Rock
Had Enough
Code Of The Road
Legs
Invisible
Watch You Slide
Cadillac
Lover Call
Gonna Be A Fight Tonight
Are You Ready (Thin Lizzy cover)
Body Bags
Full Of Regret
Mountain

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