Saturday, February 23, 2013

NME Awards Tour, Palma Violets, Miles Kane, Django Django

Image for 24/09/2012After Peace's opening performance it was time for Palma Violets,  like Peace they have gained a reputation from playing chaotic shows in tiny venues such as their own 180 studios. it was exciting to see if the raw chaos they were known for would translate to a bigger stage. I must admit it took me a while to warm to them, they came on drinking cups of stella, picked up their guitars and made one hell of a racket, at first it just seemed like noise but then I started to understand the hype, Sam Fryer is the laid back guitarist while Chilli Jesson plays Bass, does cockney screams and jumps on the drum kit, they reminded me of Pete and Carl. Far more than just being an indie band Palma Violets are pure punk attitude and noise, yet Pete Mayhews, organ ties the whole thing together, pinning down the songs and adding a psycadelic vibe. The songs 'Best of Friends' and '14' were the real singalongs, all while people were crowd-surfing. I was at the front so I was able to watch them all get picked up, told off and walked away by the bouncers.
the band was lit in a very simple sharp red and blue and they all looked younger than they actually are. these guys have far too much hype around them yet its not hard to see why.

Next up was Miles Kane, who is by far the best dressed man in rock today. Today he was dressed in a Leather suit, with black trousers and a sort of white leather jacket with rows of buttons, kind of like a posh blazer. his band looked every bit as dapper. so while they could top Palma Violets on style could Miles and his lads top the show? well yes Miles got himself a full hour as the most established act on the bill. While on record Miles mixes 60's style crooning with moddish Indie, live Miles picks the best of the bunch and puts on a rock n roll show, the new songs such as 'Give up' and 'Don't Forget Who you are' already sound like old classics hinting that  his new record could be brilliant. people were already able to sing along to the new songs and  there was more crowd-surfing and more arms in the air than there had been for any of the acts before.
Miles is a man who lives the rock n' roll dream, at the gig he thanked his fans for making his dream come true and on the final song 'Come Closer' got the crowd to sing 'WOAH-OHoOHoOHHHH so much that the lads were still singing it on their way to the loos.

How on Earth could Django Django top that? well truth is they didn't really have too, two hours of full blast Rock n' Roll had tired me out and while miles Kane was enjoyable, an hour of him felt like a marathon, this was the exact right time for something you could just dance and chill out a bit too.
But even when they had started with the brilliant, surf rock-ish 'Hail Bop' I thought they hadn't topped Miles, but then it became obvious that Django Django are born entertainers, the rhythm that underpins all the songs is completely infectious. Their Keyboardist Tommy Grace may look like 'a cross between an old man and a baby' (that's the bands own words) but he also looks like a mad scientist, creating strange new sounds while jumping about the place and occasionally switching to bongos.
what was even more fun was the instruments they used. It was all the crappy old percussion instruments that you'd have littering your school music room as a kid  stuff like coconut shells and rain sticks were just being pulled out of nowhere at random and finally being put to good use.
They had a cool light show too, they had flashing circles, projected drumming shadows and a cool slit light effect that looked as if light had shone on them through blinds. They also had matching clothes, and their singer had a thick Irish Accent that made him sound a bit like Chris O Dowd, so he could say things like 'You've been fucking amazing Birmingham' and it could just add to the fun.
Seeing Django Django live is the most fun you can have with your clothes on, they instantly became my dads favourite band and he reckons that if you put them on a bill with all the electronic innovators that came before them, 'Kraftwerk', 'New Order' they would blow them all off the stage.

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