Justice - Live At Brixton Academy, London

Wall of sound
Justice - Live At Brixton Academy, London
With the release of their sophomore effort 'Audio, Video, Disco', Justice have put their cards on the table in terms of where they want to be. In the absence of Daft Punk on the live circuit these guys are the next best thing albeit with an attitude and ethos that leans far more towards rock music than dance.

Nowhere is this more obvious than their stage setup. On each side of the decks, with the customary and now iconic cross sign shining brightly on the front, are stacks of Marshall amplifiers that wouldn't seem out of place at a Metallica gig. Even Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay themselves look the part in their leather jackets. They're surrounded by a huge wall of lights that circles around the back of the stage and at times the sheer onslaught of white light is similar to some of Nine Inch Nail's manic shows at the peak of their latter-day period.

As the opening fanfare of 'Genesis' blares out of the speakers a sea of phones is all you can see from the back of stalls as people are desperate to record the the moment when the beat drops. When it does it kick-starts a highly enjoyable hour-long show. 'Horsepower' is equally as grandiose in its introduction, despite being lumped in slap-bang in the middle of the set, and the one-two of 'Stress' and 'Waters of Nazareth' is brutal.

They also have a few other set of tricks up their sleeves. As the euphoric refrain of 'Civilization', arguably their best song to date, echoes all around the Academy the aforementioned amps start to light up out of nowhere. If you think that's not quite gimmicky enough, during the frenzied 'D.A.N.C.E', which lingers long in the memory for many hours after the gig is over, the decks open up to reveal a keyboard which Augé then plays to bring the tempo of the song down. It's the kind of thing that Muse wish they had done during their latest run of enormo-dome appearances.

As sweat emanates from the revellers down the front and people are being lifted onto shoulders of their fellow gig-goers – creating a festival vibe in the process – a turbo-charged 'Audio, Video, Disco' ends the main set with a louder-than-loud bang. An encore of 'On 'n' On' and a devastating 'Phantom Part 2' is just as joyous and energetic and with a 'We Are Your Friends' sample tucked in for good measure it's fail-proof.

If there are any gripes with the evening it's that the bass isn't prominent enough and, bizarrely, that this isn't a late gig. A Friday night is the perfect time for a party that goes on long into the night but, alas, logistically not possible on their tight touring schedule.

This is being picky though as this is an exhilarating night that sees the French disco duo ramp up their cut-and-paste style of house up to eleven. At times the wall of sound is so hard that it feels like it's about to tear apart your own ears and there are few pauses for breath but this is a party that you just wish kept on going forever.

Words by Max Raymond

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