By Erin Coulehan, Contributor, DC Music Live
Often referred to as a “bedroom band,” London-via-Edinburgh quartet, Django Django, introduced Washingtonians to an uproarious sold-out show at 9:30 Club that was anything but sleepy. The band spent four years in drummer David Maclean’s bedroom working on its first album. The result? An eclectic, yet cohesive, eponymous LP that’s a Technicolor dream of calculated sounds. The band makes twinkling guitar mixed with heavy synth seem easy, resulting in (seemingly) effortless sound.
After meeting at art school in Edinburgh, the foursome gradually relocated to London, releasing their first single “Storm” in 2009. The meticulously measured self-titled debut released in 2012 was met with delight by fans and critics alike, and the band released itself from the bedroom and took to the road to begin touring – the real fun.
Clad in matching patterned navy button down shirts, Django Django took the stage following a video display and opened with the electro-charged “Hailed to the Bop,” which the audience willingly bopped and shimmied to. Quirky, polished, and clearly talented, the foursome possess a bouncy and inviting charm; like a group of boys inviting you to play video games in their parents’ basement on a Saturday night.
The well-presented live display complemented the eclecticism of the band during songs like “Waveforms.” Front man Vincent Neff and bassist Jimmy Nixon joined keyboardist Tommy Grace at the synthesizers for an up-up-and-away triad of bleeps, bloops and thumps.
“Firewater” and “Storm” showcased the extensive range of the indie-rockers as surf-style harmonies met with burbling bass to produce an effervescent sound; a fizzy jolt of energy on an otherwise flat Saturday night in Washington.
“Default,” the band’s current single that’s been climbing the Alt 18 Countdown on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation Channel has an ornate videogame-like bloops on the album, but took on a much fuller and sophisticated sound live thanks to Neff’s jangly guitar.
The latter part of the set took on a dreamlike quality as the band invited the audience to transport themselves to Egypt with them during “Skies Over Cairo.” Fans’ hips winded in rhythm to the serpentine melody while others walked like Egyptians.
By the end of the night it was clear: Django Django has certainly unleashed something very powerful.