Japandroids @ Heaven, London 26/10/2012

November 6, 2012 by  

Celebration Rock built on the sheer energy of Japandroid’s early records, replacing angst filled punk-rock with anthems veering dangerously into Springsteen territory. Thankfully, on stage the Vancouver duo are the same act we saw pumping out the unrelenting, visceral tones of Post Nothing a few years ago, albeit with a few more anthems in their locker.

Yet it’s with the familiar favourite ‘The Boys are Leaving Town’ that tonight’s set begins with – and it’s a start that caught most of the crowd unawares, as they shuffled from the bar through the dimly lit archways of Heaven to the main floor.

As the duo ripped through their set they revelled in the freedom success has brought them; before launching into ‘Heart Sweats’ King complained that time-restrictions had forced them to omit it from their previous shows, and he delighted in introducing a cover of Mclusky’s ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’ – a track they only used to perform in their early days.

Inevitably it was the lead single from their recent album Celebration Rock, ‘The House That Heaven Built’ that roused the crowd the most – every  ‘oh, oh, oh, oh, oh’ of the chorus was emphatically fisted pumped by the crowd. The audience participation didn’t end there – during closing track ‘For The Love Ivy’, with cuts of Pumpkins and AC/DC thrown in for good measure, King invited members of the audience to leap from the stage into the baying mosh pit below.

Yet despite the fist pumping and stage diving, Japandroids couldn’t be further from the insipid acts that are usually associated with such antics.  Instead it’s their explosive dynamic as a live duo and their unabashed love for playing fucking hard that makes them such a force onstage – as King put it himself on the night: “Muse can keep their light shows and their fuckin’ fireworks, we have a drum solo from David Prowse.” And we couldn’t agree more.


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