Django Django – Night Moves
Event on 2013-03-08 20:30:00
It's not for anyone else to decide what other young men and
women should get up to in the sanctity of their own bedrooms.
That said, it's heartening to know that not everyone using the
term "bedroom band" is a lazy person making bad excuses for a
tossed off record.
For the last three years, Django Django have been busy doing
great things in the East London bedroom slept in by their drummer,
producer and de facto leader David Maclean. The result of those
great things is a great self-titled debut record.
"Time gives you options, and we had plenty of that," says Vincent
Neff, the singer and guitarist who – along with bassist Jimmy Dixon
and synth operator Tommy Grace – completes Django Django.
"There was no pressure on us from anyone to go away with a
producer and come back two weeks later with an album," explains
Maclean. "Maybe next time there will be some svengali figure
banging his fists on a desk demanding hits, but we've had the
luxury to figure out what we wanted to do and how we wanted to
The quartet, who met at art school in Edinburgh, first came to
peoples' attentions after a gradual migration to London a couple
of years back. 2009's double A-side single "Storm"/"Love's Dart"
laid the blueprint for a confident, adventurous and psychedelically-
bruised strain of art-rock that melds intangible electronic flourishes
to the visceral rub of live instrumentation.
The time since has been spent holed away, expanding upon that
blueprint, seeing where they can push it. The impression one gets
of Django Django is of a band laying down the first, meticulously
measured borders on some vast map of a world that only they are
Correspondent to that, each track is like its own nation of
harmonies, rhythms and textures. "We didn't put much conscious
thought into making it sound like an album – we thought we'd
let any similarities between the songs come out by themselves,"
What that means in practice is the swooning, bucolic Beach Boy-
isms of opening track "Hail Bop" and the sterner, questing Bo
Diddley beat guitars of "Life's A Beach". The industrious, go-getting
tattoo verses of "Firewater" and the sleepy cowboy sighs of "Silver
"Default" and "Waveforms" are future singles. The former sounds
like an uprising in a Mexican gun factory.
"Music's so mad and widespread and varied, that eclecticism's the
only way to be for us," reasons Maclean. "That said, I think you can
draw a line through all the music we're into. It's about creativity
and experimentation and the quest to find a new sound."
Amid all the diverse moods and ideas of Django Django (all
there, perhaps, as the imagination wanders to stave off bedroom
boredom?) it's a lyric from "Silver Rays" that most capably sums up
its parent album.
"We venture out into the great uncharted," sings Neff, "go far away
from any beaten track… Enjoy it now before it's far departed, you
know that once it's gone that there'll be no way back."
The lyrics can be read as a desire to explore first, and a tribute to
what Dixon calls their decision to "stick to their guns" when outside
forces tried to convince them to forget everything they'd seen.
"A lot of people expected us to ditch our recordings and start all
over again, but that was never something we wanted to do. It's
great to have a body of work – something you can point to, and say
this is the story so far."
If that's true, then Django Django's story looks set to be a long
and compelling one. By banging together their thirst for adventure
and their exacting high standards, they've produced an album that
seems to have everything, but on which everything never seems
Time to get out of the bedroom now, and let playtime begin.
at Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, United States