Django Django’s show at The Metro was the largest one they’ve ever performed in Sydney. The Scotland-via-London group keep on going from strength-to-strength having released their critically acclaimed, eponymous debut album and will be headlining the NME Awards Tour in the UK next month. Their second show in Sydney in just six months was a solid performance and further proof of the band’s ability to continue on the steep rise up.
The self-proclaimed, D-list supergroup of misguided talent and spent youth known as Twinsy were on first. The duo is made up of no less than Michael Belsar (Hunting Grounds) and Guy Chappell (Yacht Club DJs). Like the headliners, they also shook up the conventional guitar, bass and drums format but their sound was less centred around percussive threads and more on electronic loops and some occasional live saxophone.
The boys played music that was like punchy walls of sound that often came across as a more immediate-sounding Brian Jonestown Massacre. “Keeping It Together” was a good taster of things to come and was a warm number while “Water Bombs” was a distorted and catchy ditty. If there was one criticism to be made it was that their guest bassist seemed a tad nervous, shuffling whilst playing on the side of the stage. Belsar and Chappell on the other hand seemed completely at ease, enjoying themselves with the boisterous tunes they were creating. In short, these guys are definitely ones to watch.
Palms are those local lads where two of the members are from the now defunct band, Red Riders. They also seem such an important part of the scene, it’s almost like they’re part of the furniture due to their relentless touring schedule. But this has meant that I have now lost track of the number of times I’ve seen the guys perform. Perhaps as a result of this, I couldn’t help but notice that the same set was totted out again and it’s not that it’s a bad one; it’s just that I would’ve liked them to shake things up a little bit.
Frontman, Al Grigg was once again in fine form and an absolute joy to watch because he’s always so animated whilst playing his huge Rickenbacker guitar. They played scuzzy, indie rock songs and most of these should be available on their forth-coming, debut album. An obvious highlight was the shiny pop number, “The Summer is done with us”. This one was all nostalgia and wistful longing wrapped up in a bear hug while “Love” was a song about a certain four-letter word. And if history serves me, I’m sure our paths will cross again very soon.
Django Django have created a new art-form out of producing music with minimal riffs and layers and then drowning these in percussive sounds. It’s a noisy affair and a fusion of all sorts of genres meaning you could get served everything from dreamy and hazy psychedelia to clipping, electro beats and then some heavier guitar riffs. They also wear matching outfits like a cross between Devo and The Hives. Yeah!
The set started with the first track from the album, “Introduction”. It was a sprawling, instrumental affair that is not as immediate as some of their other songs. This was all about some New Order-inspired synth being layered onward and upward with soaring guitar riffs and a strong, percussive back-beat. The bombastic drum sounds were a key thread throughout most of the songs they performed live because they were all held together with great timing and some frenzied, Energizer Bunny-style glue courtesy of David Maclean (whose brother also played keys in The Beta Band).
The guys danced like crazy and had just the right level of angst and upbeat humour in their tunes. “Firewater” seemed to have the same trippy feel as an evening on peyote while out in the desert during the sixties, especially if you were calling out for that horse with no name (that may or may not have existed outside of your mind). Another number was as jubilant as one of Jinja Safari’s own, before the electro pop and dancing overtook the Metro, meaning the venue felt a little like a throwback to the much-loved Haçienda nightclub of Factory Records fame.
Django Django presently have little more to their names than that stellar debut album, so it was therefore unsurprising that most of the cuts performed tonight were originally offered on that. “Hail Bop” was jolly good fun and the audience were clapping and enjoying things. But it did seem like they took a few tracks to get well and truly started and they did warm up the most to the material played during the latter part of the main set.
“Skies over Cairo” had us all baking like a snake charmer in black working away in the Arabian Desert. One might say this was a candidate for “Feel-good hit of the summer”. Single, “Default” was where the group peaked with all of those scatterbrain beats, blips and lines that we’ve all come to know and love. “Wor” was also beat-filled and pleasant and “Silver Rays” proved the perfect foil for the encore with it enabling some punters to engage in some light-hearted call-and-response action.
The Metro show had been quite a special one with fans metaphorically slapping the guys on their backs as they continue on the high road up. The guys – like the audience – had had an absolute ball to the point where Vincent Neff (guitars) whooped and praised our great country and we believed him. They had put on one fresh-sounding show that was enthusiastic, punchy and full of strange noises and killer beats, filling up the walls of the Metro and then some.
Originally published on 15 January 2013 at the following website: http://www.theaureview.com/sydney/live-review-django-djano-palms-twinsy-metro-theatre-11-01-13
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