While sub zero temperatures had rendered the vast majority of locals inactive and hidden snugly beneath a mountain of blankets; somewhere out there, a queue formed and the faint sounds of shuffling feet and chattering teeth could be heard. What could warrant such madness on a snowy February evening? These brave, dedicated souls were queuing up to witness the return of their favourite New Zealanders, The Datsuns. The last time Belfast had the pleasure of experiencing this band was almost five years ago, when they managed to incite a unique form of musical hysteria among the dancing masses in attendance.
Despite what you may think, it's safe to say that they haven't lost their magic. It didn't take long for the band to send the audience happily crashing into one another; with songs like 'Mutha***** from hell' and 'Heartbreaker' in their arsenal, it was only natural that the crowd reaction quickly turned from appreciative nodding into a musical induced frenzy. Amidst the blatant anthemic qualities inherent in songs like 'Harmonic Generator'; new songs like 'Rock n roll Intellectual' and 'Hey! Paranoid people' were woven effortlessly into the set; regardless of having a more substantial emphasis on pop melodies and sharp punk overtones. Every song is delivered with a sense of uncompromising immediacy, while every now and again they draw out solos and slow things down before charging into the next song, just to keep the crowd on their toes.
The Datsuns are a band which ooze confidence, from the way in which Dolf swings the microphone while purposively swaggering back and forth in front of the audience, to the synchronised power stances adopted during elaborate guitar solos; moves which masterfully fall more on the side of The Rolling Stones than AC/DC. The band maintained an energy which did, at times, have this reviewer desperately searching for some sign of an undisclosed power source - their energy is infectious, unwavering and is generated simply through the act of playing live. Just when it looked like things couldn't get any better the band stepped it up a notch after announcing that it was guitarist Christian Livingstone's birthday - and in celebration, delivered a ferocious, hard hitting version of 'Freeze-sucker', which seemed to send everyone crazy. The Datsuns are a live band through and through, who never fail to leave us wanting more - let's just hope we don't have to wait another five years to get them back.