Reporter Hayley Gallimore went to see art-rock four piece Django Django at Plug in Sheffield on Monday 22nd October 2012.
FRESH from winning Best Newcomer gong at The Q Awards in London earlier that day, Django Django bounced onto the stage at Plug with enviable energy.
The baying crowd had waited until 9.45pm for the denim-clad four-piece to appear, so the reception was rapturous.
The Sheffield venue was filled to capacity with fans ready to dance. And dance they did.
It was an impressive turn-out for a band who only released their debut album in January. But a Mercury Prize nomination has no doubt helped propel their popularity.
Latest single Hail-Bop was the opener, mirroring the track listing of the album. Then it was straight into Storm, one of their less dancey numbers, which still managed to get the room pogo-ing.
The band seemed genuinely pleased to be back in Sheffield. “It’s been a while now but we’re back now with our new light show,” grinned frontman, singer and guitarist Vincent Neff.
It’s fair to say that a Django Django gig is more than just a musical experience.
It’s an out-of-body artistic epiphony featuring dazzling lights and strobing images projected onto, in this case, a backdrop of Venetian blinds.
You shouldn’t expect anything less from four boys who met at art college. But there are no pompous pretentions about this band.
Vincent continued: “Now we’re going to sing a song about getting drunk.”
Firewater is the song he referred to. A tambourine tapping, guitar strumming number with a hint of the Delta blues about it.
But it was harmony-heavy Waveforms which really saw them find their rhythm, and show us just what a musical melee they’re capable of creating.
The song builds layer upon layer of drums, rattles, maracas, whistles and vocal harmonies over a synthesised base track to mesmerising effect.
Love's Dart saw Vincent break out the clip-clopping coconut shells and Skies Over Cairo transported the audience to an Egyptian bazaar featuring heavy percussion, glockenspiel and an electronic citar-sounding instrument.
During many of the songs, band members took turns playing the dazzling array of instruments and synth gadgets on stage, virtually juggling with their extensive repertoire.
But it was popular favourite Default that everyone had been waiting for. And it blew the roof. The bouncing guitar hook whipped the crowd into a frenzy before collapsing into a sweaty mess.
Closing song Life’s A Beach was a mellow ending to the set, featuring Beach Boys-esque harmonies and yet more tambourines.
It might have been a work night but this crowd wanted to party hard. So after much applause and heckling, Django Django returned to the stage.
Electric tension hung in the air as a few technical hitches held up the encore. But it was worth the wait. Silver Rays delivered a furious flurry of beats to end the night on a ridiculous high.
The gig was pleasantly intense and cosy. Like a Monday night rave wrapped in an electric blanket. Sweaty, smiling and with side-partings intact, Django Django left the stage. I think they enjoyed it too.
- Django Django have sold out the remaining dates on their autumn UK tour. The band tour Europe throughout November before returning to London Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 21st December. Tickets are available for this show. Book online at www.djangodjango.co.uk/live
Review by Hayley Gallimore