Tuesday, December 12, 2006
While it may be rash yet somewhat accurate to say that Datarock are yet another in the field of ironic-grab-bag-of-early-80s-influenced studied Scandacool, bearing songs with simple programmed beats, simpler keyboard riffs, catchy shouty lyrics and are thereby stylish while being empty of integrity or lasting value, this would be missing the point. The point of which is to dig them for what they are: 80s-style fun, and this gig was possibly one of the most fun gigs of recent months, being the last gig on their world tour and one infused with joyous relief and the odd stage invasion.
The use of the word ironic to describe Datarock is rendered redundant by their B-Boy poses and synchronised moves, matching red tracksuits over hirsute chests, metrosexual theatrical prancing and an opening track that states:"What we do is for real/We think you don't care/How Datarockers feel". The packed Hi-Fi Bar must have had the doormen working overtime checking for fake ID with the average age seeming to be about 20, while the energy levels were high as the temperature outside.
Even sound problems that left the keyboards impotent for the first four songs couldn't dampen spirits or the energy coursing through the four members as they pushed out party anthem after party anthem. Night Flight To Uranus, New Song, Molly Ringwald tribute Molly, Laurie and that's even before they get to the radio hits I Used To Dance With My Daddy and Computer Camp Love which lift the roof off the place.
"I've worn this for 80 shows in 16 countries...it's been a while since I washed it..." says singer Fredrik before launching his red tracksuit jacket into a crowd that set upon it like feral animals.
Several stage invasions from repeat offenders enliven an already kicking end of set Fa Fa Fa, their new UK single and a high point of the night. After returning to spray the front few rows with champagne and delivering a more punk set they then finish on what could only be described as a higher point which is all coming to the front of the stage and singing I've Had The Time Of My Life, while leaving and returning to the stage several more times to ensure maximum fun is being had. Awesome.
Fun and banging riffs were the common ground shared with capable and ubiquitous support band The Groundies, who bash out their warmly received hyped-up pub-rock sounds to a near capacity crowd. Singer Joe McGuigan's shirt removal and addition of long-time roadie Bobby on guitar free up Joe to get more Iggy/Cobain on us which, while being entertaining, didn't push anything new out of the band and still made for a fairly samey-sounding gig. Great riffs and boundless energy are their strong suits and a killer live combination, and with the Groundies, the smaller the venue the bigger the rock.