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As I approached the Brixton academy this evening I was sure that I has seen this all before. Yet in my head I had definitely not seen a queue of magnitude streaking around the building in the freezing cold. After what seemed like hours we slowly tip-toed into the venue to catch tonights support act who had come down from the even colder climbs of Scotland for tonights performance.

Unkle Bob are not the cheeriest bunch of indie folk rockers the world had ever seen. Their layered acoustic melodies on top of the odd nifty bass riff were pretty and flowed along at a nice mid tempo amble. Being so mainstream and non-offensive bordered on the cusp of sending the audience to sleep, leaving little I can commend. The utter repetitive nature of the rhythmn section which no-matter what tempo the song started at, would alway return to the same lulling 1-2-1-1-2 drum beat, was tiresome and lazy. Vocals were of little presence and thusly Unkle Bobs chances of making an impression faded with it.

Despite being a household name and mainstream stalwarts of american pop rock for years, The Goo Goo Dolls can still kick out a little bit of passion full flowing rock sparkle when they feel like it. Tonight they were clearly up for the task as they rapid-fired their way through 4-5 cracking hits without stopping for breath in between. This energetic bout of blazing rock singles including the rocky Big Machinem, the big chorus of Dizzy and jangly single The Sweetest Lie…set the tone for the night. Suprisingly they didn’t dwell on new album material which for a longstanding fan like myself was much appreciated.

Balladry is never far away from their arsenal and this proved so, as they threw in classic pop tunes like Iris, Black Ballon and Here Is Gone which got the loudest of crowd chorus’s I’ve heard for a very long while. Each onlooker seemingly knew the words to their setlist which raised a rousing atmosphere of appreciation and ephoric enjoyment.

I was impressed with the set tonight more so than on previous occasions of seeing them. Bassist Robbie Takac was given 3 songs to sing tonight (Another Second Time Around, Smash & my personal favourite, Tucked Away) , each loaded with punky energy, rasping Marshall/Gibson power chords and his jovial vocals gave the Dolls a sense of urgency and passion right when it was required. Front man John Rzeznik was also seemingly bursting with adrenaline as he barely stopped running across stage slinging his guitar when he had the chance.

As always the performance was brilliant, superb sound, the hits were all there with the fans were right behind each and every one of them!
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