First Part

Van Susans, Daniela Brooker, Origin. Review

On 24th September I took a wander to the IndigO2 where I was assured I’d be treated to an impressive set by headline act Van Susans and their support acts Daniella Brooker and Origin. I wasn’t disappointed.

With a happily inebriated Saturday night crowd mixed merrily with smatterings of Daniella Brooker ‘Summer Love’ sporting teeny-boppers and the regular melange of diehard fans and musos alike, the scene is set for Van Susans’ biggest gig to date.
The IndigO2, with a not to be sniffed at 3K capacity was filled to a point at which you could hear yourself think whilst still enjoying the camaraderie of mutual musical revelrie.
The fact that Van Susans can fill a venue of this size after a mere year together is a feat in itself.
Origin open the evening using their mix of 80’s nu-wave and funk-rock to get the crowd suitably hot under the collar with their frontman’s energy and Morrisey-cum-Johnny Ray image suiting their sound to a T.
Their performance was a master class in wall-of-sound power chord simplicity and stage theatrics with a solid set list briefly let down by new trackMichael J Foxwhose naive chorus grated.
Next up, to squeals of delight from fans was the much hyped Daniella Brooker whose saccharine single ‘Summer Love’ has gained extensive airplay and boosted her profile. Whilst in previous gigs she relied more on her main asset; her Anastasia-esque deep soulful lungs, this set proves she is much more than a one trick pony. Judging by the increased confidence in her vocal range she’s put a lot of work into her performance and artistry since the release of her summer single back in June. To highlight this point she sang an almost acapella tune for her grandfather, albeit in Spanish and not a chart-botherer.

Also of note was new track ‘18’ that reminded us both that she is not just talented but has only recently turned 18. However, suffice to say ‘Summer Love’ was the real crowd pleaser from what could be described as a great set.

Next is the turn of headliners Van Susans  who take to the stage with their infectious, relaxed charm belying the importance of the event . With their presence comes a dramatic change of musical output from that of Daniella Brookers Pop to the folk rock of this six-piece, but thanks to their aforementioned charm the transition is seamless.

Van Susans kicked off without much ado with ‘Served Cold’, a track which though not from the EP ‘We Could Be Scenery’ still went down well with a receptive audience many of whom were the Summer Love supporters which goes to show the broad range of appeal that the Dullaway bros et al have.
Next up was ‘Cha Cha Bang’ which being the lead track off ‘We Could be Scenery’ is arguably the
strongest and as such a highlight as were the absurdly catchy sing-a-long performances of ‘Bones’ and ‘Plans’. That is not to say that the crowd wasn’t treated to a varied set, as new track ‘Rat Race (to be included in the upcoming album, the uncertain release date of which can no doubt be a source of consternation at times for their growing fan base) was of a more sedate nature, containing greater emotional depth than the usual more happy-go-lucky fare that one associates with this band.

Lead singer Olly Andrews later sung alone a rather touching tribute called ‘All because of you’ accompanied by piano and violin – to whom it was addressed I am unaware, but it silenced the audience with its heartfelt tenderness.

Amy Walshe

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