Rejoice As Downtown Boys Announce Their Debut European Tour

You need to see Downtown Boys live. Over the past two years I’ve listened and watched with awe-inspired excitement as they’ve encountered mad praise from Tom Morello (he wondered if they were America’s greatest punk band, a question to which I would still answer ‘yes’), toured their asses off the old school way by schlepping around North America in a crappy bus to play shows with the likes of Sheer Mag, and grown into a fantastic, ballsy act with shedloads to say. The songs, too, are wonderful:

I always loved The Specials growing up and when I finally got to see them live, playing Brixton on the first round of their reunion tour a few years ago, I was thankful that it felt ‘young’ still. The crowd there was boisterous, and really fucking loud. It’s still the loudest I’ve ever heard anyone at Brixton, from The Pogues Christmas party to Skepta, JME and BBK. The Specials, in terms of sheer atmosphere, top them all by miles.


Anyway, Downtown Boys are the only band to ever come from America who make me think of Jerry Dammers, Terry Hall, Lynval Golding et al. Deeply political, they’re also unequivocally now. They were born screaming into an America post Bush Jr, their founder member Joey DeFrancesco briefly became a YouTube sensation when he filmed himself quitting his crummy hotel job and it went viral, and they skirt the line of being preachy while still being a total blast to interview and watch onstage.

They’re over in Europe for the first time this May and for me, alongside the great Royal Headache coming over the same month, it’s probably the most exciting thing to happen in guitar music over here all year. Don’t sleep on the album ‘Full Communism’ and certainly don’t miss the band live:

24.05.2016 Münster, DE – LWL Museum
25.05.2016 Berlin, DE – Bei Ruth
26.05.2016 Groningen, NE – Vera
27.05.2016 Antwerp, BE – Het bos
28.05.2016 Brighton, UK – Green Door Store (early show)
29.05.2016 Leeds, UK – Wharf Chambers
30.05.2016 Durham, UK – Alington House (early show)
30.05.2016 Glasgow, UK – Old Hairdressers
31.05.2016 London, UK – Dalston Victoria
01.06.2016 Lille, FR – La Peniche
02.06.2016 Reims, FR – La Cartonnerie Club
03.06.2016 Paris, FR – La Mecanique Ondulatoire
04.06.2016 Nimes, FR – This Is Not A Love Song Fest
05.06.2016 Barcelona, ES – Primavera Festival (free show)
06.06.2016 Imperia, IT – ARCI Camalli
07.06.2016 Milan, IT – Sacrestia
08.06.2016 Nuremberg, DE – K 4
09.06.2016 Zagreb, CR – Mocvara
10.06.2016 Vienna, AU – Ekh
11.06.2016 Würzburg, DE – Cairo
12.06.2016 Darmstadt, DE – Öttinger Villa