Laura Martin
14:02 6th July 2007

If Willy Wonka were ever to give up the world of chocolate making and put his Oompa Loompas into the rock circuit, Datarock would surely be the end result. The vertically-challenged Norwegian outfit bounce energetically on to the Luminaire stage clad in their signature matching red hoodie tracksuits and sunglasses – but their blistering, tight set will prove the band are more than just a comedy joke.

Another Norwegian export (for those of you not in the know), their garage rock background comes through in heavier songs such as ‘The New Song’, explained away when lead singer Fredrik comments “Where we’re from, all anyone plays is black metal!” But it’s their concept songs that they really shine through the set, such as the excellent ‘Computer Camp Love’ – essentially Grease’s ‘Summer Lovin’ reworked as an anthem for spurned computer geeks, with piss-take falsetto call-and-responses "Did you get in her pants/she’s not that kind of a girl, booger/why, does she have a penis?"  Their nod to 80’s references continue not just in their Devo-esque sound, but in songs ‘Ugly Primadonna’, (“ET and Eliot….does anyone think that whole thing’s kinda strange?” wonders Fredrik) and ‘Molly Ringwald’, right through to their encore exit cover track ‘I’ve had (The Time Of My Life)’ – for these guys, it seems it’s definitely acceptable in the 80s.

Strong choruses, catchy hooks and refrains with a pounding bass pick up the tempo for ‘I Used To Dance With My Daddy’ and ‘Princess’, before smashing it with a fast-paced version of their biggest track ‘Fa Fa Fa’ – the infectious syncopated beats and thick bass chords getting the crowds moving – this is definitely Datarock in their element. Squeezing every last drop of funk out of the tune, Fredrik leads the crowd in a sing-off, while the keyboardist launches himself on to the intimate crowd in – literally – a mini crowd surf. It’s raucous, we’re laughing, someone breaks out a saxophone and the tune keeps pounding….you get the feeling this is EXACTLY why Datarock got into music. And for that, we should all truly be thankful.