Now that's how you make a U.S. debut. Scottish sweethearts Django Django finally brought their brand of avant-garde pop to the beautiful people of New York. As the band stated, it took three tries to pass the U.S. Boarder Patrol. It's your tax dollars at work.
I under-estimated the anticipation for the band, because Glasslands was packed to the rafters at 1am. Django even had that look on their face of like, "You folks are here to see us, right?" It's not like the group are fashionable or particularly popular back in the U.K., but I guess the Brooklyn people once in a while latch onto to somebody of high musical quality.
The obvious comparison for Django Django is to another Scottish experimental pop legends, The Beta Band. It's not a concidence that lead singer Dave Maclean is the younger brother of John Maclean of the Beta Band, and their latest incarnation, the Aliens. There's a kitchen sink mix of styles and instrumentation inherent in their sounds. There's throw-back surf rock guitar links, lo-fi 8-bit video game electronics, tribal percussions and plenty of world beat expressions. Their self-titled debut album stretches the boundaries of what is possible in their genre. I don't know whether to study the album or just forget about the influences and just enjoy it.
During their set, I wanted to behold the glorious oddness of the band. Starting with their crazy t-shirt designs that they all wore. It's some sort of paintbrush pattern that each member had a different variation. The good news about their live set is that all those quirky elements translate to the stage. "Default" got the crowd jumping with that garage guitar lick and bouncey melody. That lick is still sticking in my head. There's plenty of ear worm rhythms coming from that band -- the cosmic electronics of Hail Pop, the coconut and wood block percussion sof Waveforms and funky beats of Skies of Cairo. The Cairo song was a lot of fun to see live -- all the band members jump on the drum set or switch of on keyboards. In all, the band played to 3am! That's insane. Well, there was a daylight savings time, but still.
I'm already looking forward to the next time they come around. They do play tonight with Clock Opera and Charlie XCX (review of their show at Knitting Factory will come later on) at Santos, but I want to see them a proper venue like Bowery of Johnny Brenda's. You know, some place that's not a potential fire hazard or sweatbox like Glasslands. The sonic diversity of Django Django is not to be missed live.