Canadian three-piece rock band Danko Jones finish off a nine-date tour in Bristol supported by The Amorettes.

The Exchange in Bristol has seen some good gigs recently, and tonight is no exception. The venue is filling up early as The Amorettes prepare to open the night. Their fans are here as well with many people sporting Amorettes T-shirts. Having supported Europe and Black Star Riders earlier in the year at the O2 Academy Bristol, many locals are back to see them again. This all-female band consists of Gill Montgomery (guitar and vocals), Heather McKay (bass and vocals), and Hannah McKay (drums).

The Amorettes start off hard with their brand new single, “Give ‘Em Hell.” Their generous ten-song set is made up of all but two songs from Game On released in March of this year. Continuing with “Get What’s Coming,” the crowd are invited to join in early chanting “Hey Hey” with the band. There is no let-up as “Fire at Will” and “Bull by the Horns” carry on the barrage. Banging riffs, banging drums, and banging heads are what an Amorettes gig is all about; these girls put up a storming performance as always. “Too Much is Never Enough” from their first self-made album, Haulin’ Ass, pleases the strong fan-base.

The band continues with “Take Cover” from the same album, with “Daddy’s Got Money” and “Heartbreaker” in-between. A full-on heads-down version of “Shoot From The Hip” ensues and then, way too soon, it’s time for the last song of the set. As the crowd boos this thought, Gill asks,”Are you hot? … Heavy?” This is their obvious lead into fan favourite “Hot and Heavy.” The crowd is in fine voice again for this and everyone joins in. Fans at the Exchange have been well rocked and are ready for the headline act.

Look out for the Amorettes touring near you in the future. If you like old school hard rock and metal, this band is for you. Check them out online and then see them live. You won’t be disappointed.

Danko Jones takes the stage to riotous applause from an expectant crowd. And no wonder, as they were last in town back in 2008. They are finishing off their tour promoting their new album, Fire Music. The band is made up of Danko (guitar and vocals), John “JC” Calabrese (bass), and Rich Knox (drums).

No surprises that the set is a mixture of hits and fan faves, along with 5 tracks from said new album. The set starts with “The Rules”, which was originally a bonus track on Born a Lion, setting the mark for a powerful, rocking night. “Play the Blues” follows, with a great singalong from everyone in the crowd.

Danko is known for his interaction with the crowd. He tells the attentive audience that as this is the last night of the tour, it is going to be the best gig of the year! “It’s gonna be even better than the Melvins gig here on the 13th, and I’m a big fan of theirs!” Half an hour in and Danko’s shirt is soaking wet, glistening with sweat and stuck to his body. It’s hot and the energy is electric.

Favourites “Forget My Name” and “Had Enough” are mixed with new tracks “The Twisting Knife” and “Do you Wanna Rock,” but this doesn’t faze the fans. They seem to know all the words already, and the new songs will soon be old favourites. The fans are reminded that it has been a long time since the band were last here. However, Danko promises a 9am gig on Christmas day!

This is a rocking set, hitting hard and reminding fans old and new what a great live act Danko Jones is. It’s a non-stop onslaught of heavy hitting angst-ridden rock. Slap follows slap and the crowd are jumping and singing to everything.

“First Date” brings the story of how the lyrics were changed to turn it from X-rated classic to radio-friendly single “Die my Darling” by the Misfits is given a great work over and goes down well. Another song about making love follows, in the form of “Cadillac,” before the crowd shout for “Lovercall.” Their wish is granted earning loud cheers as the band starts to play. This is followed by their new track, “Gonna be a Fight Tonight,” another rocker which strikes a chord with fans.

It’s the end of the night, officially, but as there is no backstage, Danko is going nowhere. The four-song “encore” begins with the expected cover of the Thin Lizzy track, “Are you Ready,” dedicated to their opening band. There is no sign of any slowing down either as the group keeps hitting hard with “Body Bags,” “Full of Regret,” and the last track “Mountain.” It is over too soon for everyone in the crowd and, despite having heard 21 tracks, they still want more. There’s been no big solos, no nonsense, no bull – just balls-out rock n’ roll.

Hopefully, it won’t be another seven years before they are back. Whether they will be here at 9am on Christmas day remains to be seen.

Fire Music is out now on Bad Taste Records.

Photos by Becky O’Grady at R-O-C-K Photography

The Amorettes
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Danko Jones
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The Exchange
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