Django Django live in London
- By Adam Holden -
- Nov 14, 2012
If ever there was a way to culminate a UK tour, ending it in Heaven would surely be the answer. With the London venue packed to the rafters, Django Django concluded their tour as if it were a masterpiece; an epilogue to a prolonged story that has seen them rightly nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize and receive many plaudits along the way.
Predominately instrumental, Django Django seem to be in that innovative bracket of musicians who are pushing hybrid music to new levels in a thoroughly nascent manner, fusing electronic dance music (EDM) and indie pop with such a high level of synthesised sounds and percussion – it really is unique.
The days seem to have gone where the generic 4-piece band would waltz on stage with three guitarists and one drummer. Django Django, made up of two Scots, a Yorkshireman and an Irishman, strutted on stage in matching shirts, to take their positions with two guitarists, a drummer and Tommy Grace – the synths operator (which probably has a more professional title). Either way though, Grace plays his many instruments in a similar demeanour to the way a DJ mixes his CDJ’s.
Where songs used to be about the melody first, and everything else built around it, in a contemporary industry, the beat and synths operator seem to be taking precedent in the direction of the music. Using highly synthesised sounds and percussion not only as the predominant method of transition, but as the basic elements to each track, Django Django seem to be taking on a new hybrid genre of music – a neo-psychedelic dance adaptation of indie pop.
With alarmingly eerie transitions from one track to another, the quartet kept the sounds coming and coming at you, with no break or interludes between songs, reminiscent of a DJ keeping the party going.
However, with all the correlations and resemblance to dance music, there is still something Stone Roses about them, or even The XX (their first album anyways). Being very instrumental with a lack of lyrics, there is a real similarity here, only to be laced with dance and indie – two genres that are almost paradoxical.
The lighting and theatre was minimal but very effective, creating silhouettes of the four northern men that generated an anonymity and mystery to the band.
Rolling through the hits of ‘Skies Over Cairo’, ‘Wor’ and ‘Hail Bop’, it generally felt like the occasion and defiantly the sound, which seemed better than their studio recordings, would be far better suited at home to the arenas of the UK, rather than the 1800+ crammed underneath the railway station of Charring Cross. Vincent Neff’s voice is appropriate and used accordingly when needed which only accentuates the rest of the band. Critics may say his voice can occasionally get drowned out by the loud synths and deep bass.
‘Life’s A Beach’ calmed the atmosphere in the most peaceful of ways, before the guys lifted the mood for their finale with Neff calmly saying in his proud Scottish accent ‘this is our last song, well, we only have one album so.....’.
Before playing the encore the guys promised to be back with new tunes soon. Let’s just hope its sooner rather than later.
By Adam Holden.
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