This time last year, if someone had uttered the words Django Django, you’d be forgiven for assuming it was just the latest, hair-brained dance fad to kick seven shades of shit out of Zumba and all these other cock n’ bull Latin American dance debacles. Fast forward to the present day, and if you haven’t heard of the band Django Django, then where the hell have you been all year?
Django Django bounced into the music scene at the beginning of this year with their self-titled debut album, and since then have been nominated for more awards than their mantelpiece can withstand. But can the newbies cut it live? Well, Glasgow get to find out as they play the O2 ABC as part of their UK-wide tour.
The quartet’s Edinburgh College of Art influence is evident from the outset – with strobe lights glistening through Venetian-inspired blinds on the stage and smiley face lights manifesting themselves through the slats. Yes, quirky they are.
First up is the aptly named ‘Introduction’ – close your eyes for a second and you’re at a Native American Sun Dance in deepest South Dakota, with the sound of tribal drums, preying birds and dessert insects surrounding you. But then the electronica beats kick in and you’re back at the O2 ABC.
‘Introduction’ simultaneously morphs into Django Django’s latest single ‘Hail Bop’ which resembles some of The Beach Boys’ greatest work, yet it still sounds unique in a way. It has a feel good, guitar strumming, cruising down the highway groove, with a synth sound throughout, giving it a kick ass modern feel.
Derry born signer Vincent Neff also provides the crowd with banter throughout – his confident yet humble persona could easily have his female fans eating out the palm of his hand. He doesn’t scrub up that bad either. Vincent tells the audience that this gig is their biggest headline show to date, which sends everyone into an almighty frenzy.
A popular song of the night is ‘Waveforms’ which has a Stone Roses vibe through Vincent’s vocals and also encompasses an ensemble of calypso drums, maracas and synths. They play an extended version and by looking around the room, we could have easily been transported Manchester’s Hacienda in the 1990s, with everyone bouncing around not giving a fuck, and the strobe lights in full throttle.
‘Default’ is another firm favourite with everyone skipping around to the contagious guitar hook, and the uncanny sound of someone yodeling through a synth. ‘Skies Over Cairo’ has everyone back in the Hacienda mood, with an Egyptian influenced sound throughout, also with a sitar-style noise, glockenspiel and other woodwind instruments in full swing. Last song of the night is ‘Silver Rays’ which has a ‘Pet Sounds’ style vocal mixed up with electronica infusions.
Django Django provide a new and refreshing sound to the music scene, pulling together a mishmash of musical influences – and it seems to work effortlessly. Maybe there could be a Django Django dance club in the midst after all? Step aside Zumba…
Words by Morven MacNeil