After the huge success of their second full album Celebration Rock last year, Japandroids are on a victory lap. "This will be the last time (except tomorrow) that we play London in a long time" says front-man Brian King after opener Fire's Highway before breaking into debut record track The Boys Are Leaving Town.
Whilst the show is a victory lap, it's not without its difficulties. Sound breaks, guitar straps fall off and strings break all in the cause of Japandroids' almost impossibly loud sound for a two-piece. "We're the most unprofessional professional touring rock and roll band around" is greeted to an array of cheers from a crowd that take half the show to really get going. Tracks from both records get an outing including the rarely played I Quit Girls. It's a treat for the devotees but a bit slow for those who followed the critical acclaim to the Camden venue. For those fans however, The Nights of Wine and Roses features mid-set and The House That Heaven Built proves to be the all-crowd-surfing-all-dancing-all-sweating highlight of the night.
It's a small venue for the Canadian duo, but filling it twice in the hottest weather of London's year proves to create the sweaty atmosphere that the act thrive in, even if technical difficulties do plight them. Still, a Japandroids show is better than most for just these reasons; they know how to put on a show and though they don't keep to the script, they don't really need it.
Words and Photos by Braden Fletcher