They played very much like the early definition of a garage band. In a small and unglamorous stage in front of a paint cracked, mould-stained wall, the Japandroids were all heart and reverb. In contrast, however, to the amateurish nature of a garage band, the duo knew their worth and were determined to prove it to the already converted CAMP Basement audience.
And, preaching to the converted had its benefits, not least being the reciprocal relationship exhibited on the night. The intensity given off by the band was met and raised by the crowd, which in turn spurred the band on more; quickly filling the room with their unyielding (sweaty) energy.
An audience of fans, however, does mean that missteps are overlooked. Some songs meshed into each other so much so that they appeared to be part two or three of a song that began five minutes ago. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with having a formula if it works, and theirs certainly does. Part of that formula is to inject as much passion into what they do, that David Prowse wears out his drum set with his rapid-fire footwork while Brian King’s fuzz-heavy riffs warms the audience only better than his charming banter in-between songs.
Each song was played unapologetically fast not waiting for the Old Street crowd to catch up. And that’s why songs from their new album, ‘Celebration Rock’, received such an excited response. The band didn’t apologise for playing the new material but had enough confidence in their performance that it didn’t matter whether you could sing along or not; you were caught up in it and you loved it.
Coupled with the fervent rapper Cadence Weapon as support, the mid-twenty year-old musicians were youthful in spirit and mature in delivery. And if they sweat that much in every gig they play, they will be the example of why live music will always rule over the album.