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Live Review: Japandroids, Horror My Friend

19 July 2017 | 4:00 pm | Darren M. Leach

"Japandroids have the whole crowd shouting back lyrics and dancing any which way."

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Having witnessed Horror My Friend supporting Deafcult a few nights ago, this scribe is definitely up for another dose of the local indie-rock three-piece (even if they do repeat the same bad joke) and the PA at Fat Controller definitely gives each track a fuller sound. If they gave out an award for most energetic frontman then singer/guitarist Josh Battersby would win, hands down. And just how he propels himself around the stage while perfectly playing each note is a mystery. They've just finished a new album, which will be out soonish. Bring it on!

Next up: that Canadian duo called Japandroids. Speaking of exciting frontmen, Brian King just knows how to get a crowd going. There's no need to warm up the crowd with some new tracks, it's straight into it for Japandroids. After a quick hello they launch into Near To The Wild Heart Of Life. Strangely, King already looks like he's played a concert (or jogged around the block) with his sweaty, dishevelled look. Fire's Highway comes up next and this is a song that's meant to be played live. Energy levels are high and the crowd gets to shout, "Woah-oh-oh!" back at the band. Two songs in and everyone is pumped.

A big cheer goes up for crowd favourite Younger Us. By this time the band and crowd are fully fired up and King launches himself around the stage and almost into the crowd while drummer David Prowse thunders along on the drums. It's amazing to watch the atmosphere in the room during their performance - the energy and emotion the pair conjure is mind boggling. And all this from music played by just two people!

The dynamic duo are in the country to promote their latest album Near To The Wild Heart Of Life and, like its predecessor, this long-player features eight tracks. It's a slight change in style from 2012's Celebration Rock, but equal in quality. One of the band's most epic tracks, Arc Of Bar, is over 7 minutes long. While it's a down-tempo track, it suits being placed in the middle of the band's set and gives us a chance to wipe our brows. Then it kicks off again into a duo of drinking-related songs: the mighty The Nights Of Wine & Roses and newbie No Known Drink Or Drug.

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While the band is a simple set-up musically, they do know how to write cohesive, anthemic tracks. Japandroids have the whole crowd shouting back lyrics and dancing any which way. They finish with their best-known track The House That Heaven Built. Top gig!