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Danko Jones continue quest for real rock

Canadian rockers bring riffs and sleaze to London

Without a word of greeting, Danko Jones launches straight into opener Wild Woman. It’s intended as a sonic kick in the balls to begin an hour and a half of raw rock, but the distorted mix makes the eponymous frontman’s voice sound strained.

Undeterred (or unaware), they press on with The Twisting Knife, another minor-key thrasher, which segues into The Misfits’ Die My Darling. The third song is a weird place to drop a cover, but the crowd are unperturbed – cheers erupt as soon as Jones finally addresses them, sounding for all the world like a hyped wrestling announcer.

Throwing out a couple of gloom-laden dirges at the start means it can only get better from here, and Jones’s humour instantly lifts the mood. He booms self-deprecating anecdotes, encouraging the crowd to boo the band for not playing London in five years.

It’s hard to pin down exactly what Danko Jones’ sound is. It’s part punk pastiche, part lecherous sleaze-rock a la Steel Panther – First Date and Legs are two of the standout tracks – and part old-school riff. The guitar-led, upbeat numbers like Had Enough and Do You Wanna Rock show exactly why they were picked to support Mötörhead in 2008.

Jones pays homage to his inspirations in the encore, reeling off the names of a number of dead musicians and staying the right side of cheesy. A dodgy start was swiftly turned around into a bona fide rock show, but Danko Jones isn’t aiming for perfection; ‘real rock,’ as he proclaimed mid-set, ‘is full of fuck-ups.’

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