It would be fair to say that Britain never really "got" Devo. Their comedy-situationist art-pop, which drove the late 70s/early 80s US new wave, didn't seem to strike a chord in the tribal culture of UK playgrounds, where choosing between Adam and the Ants or the Clash was a life-or-death decision. However, those in attendance at this Meltdown concert definitely "got" Devo ... and so did their children. I've witnessed plenty of family outings at gigs, but to see a father and son in matching "energy domes" (the red flowerpot hats sported by Devo and their devotees), well, that's pretty special.
But as easy as it would be to mock these ageing futurists for their refusal to hang up their spacesuits, for their expanding waistlines and balding pates (exposed to dazzling effect when, three songs in, they dispensed with their own energy domes), such carping is ultimately unfair. After all, this is a band that wrote a song called Through Being Cool back when Franz Ferdinand was still merely a minor historical figure: they know they are dorks. Also, they did not put a synchronised, jerky, electro-punk foot wrong: Girl U Want, Gates of Steel and Gut Feeling were as perfect as you wanted them to be.
Most importantly, their flagship song, Jocko Homo, an abstract thumbing of the nose to creationists, and political dogma in general, probably has more resonance now than when it was written over three decades ago. "There's still a lot of De-evolution around now - particularly in Washington DC," said bassist Gerry Casales at its introduction. It warms the heart to know that Devo are still around to point these things out.
· At Birmingham Symphony Hall tomorrow. Box office: 0121-780 3333. Then touring.