Django Django, Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Sun 15 Feb
Energy, thumping beats and squelchy electronics turn the Liquid Rooms into a tropical rave
With Django Django’s Scottish roots and links to Edinburgh College of Art, it’s unsurprising that they chose the capital for one of just two UK dates on this intimate mini-tour (the day after this show, they then announced more UK tour dates for May). It’s also unsurprising that the Liquid Room is absolutely stowed, particularly given that their eponymous debut was easily one of the best albums of 2012.
Clad in obscure footie shirts, they bound onstage, opening with a crashing clash of cymbals, tweeting beats and tribal electronic pulses before launching into 'Hail Bop'; the live version is far harder and faster. 'Storm' is similarly rawer and more propulsive than on record, a direct contrast to Vincent Neff's warm vocals, the song looping and repeating until it becomes a pounding clubber's mantra.
'First Light' is the first new track of the night. Powered by driving 80s synths, it has a menacing John Carpenter vibe before soaring vocals round off the sinister edges. It’s followed by yet another track from their forthcoming second album Born Under Saturn, as bassist Jimmy Dixon joins Tommy Grace behind the banks of synths and FX for 'Reflections'. A weary disco number, it recalls the last man on the dancefloor as the lights come up at 3am.
'Default' segues into the Egyptian funk of 'Skies Over Cairo' then the thundering bass of 'Waveforms' for a huge triple bill of throbbing squelchy electronics transforming the Liquid Rooms into a tropical rave. At one point Neff and Dixon are hammering out beats alongside drummer David Maclean, and the techno thump obliterates any final Sunday night reservations amongst the crowd. 'Life's a Beach''s bongo rhythms and surf guitar keep the energy levels high as Neff praises the band's 'spiritual home' of Edinburgh before wailing sirens, flashing strobes and rockabilly riffs herald 'WOR'.
For their encore, Edinburgh gets the live debut of 'Pause Repeat' – a pleasingly chaotic squall of sound before it finds its punk funk groove – that apparently 'went better than rehearsals'. Finally, they end with a popping, shimmering version of 'Silver Rays'. If they can capture the energy and muscle of tonight's show, their forthcoming album should be essential.
Django Django's second album, Born Under Saturn, is out on Mon 4 May via Because Music.