Django Django

The Q Awards named them Best New Act‘, The Guardian awarded their eponymous debut album a rare five star review and they are among the nominees of the lauded Barclaycard Mercury Prize; as I walked into the Ritz on Tuesday evening to see them on the second night of their current UK tour I couldn’t help but have high expectations of Scottish band Django Django.


There are two support bands on the bill tonight and the first up is Gulp. They are an interesting psychedelic folk outfit put together by Guto Pryce, of the Super Fury Animals, with Welsh songstress Lindsey Leven. They look quite an interesting proposition incorporating subtle guitar and electronic effects into lilting melodies, and with ethereal Cocteau Twins style vocals. Second up is Manchester group Egyptian Hip Hop, who first caught the attention of the music world in the run up to the release of their debut EP in 2010, proved an apt support act. A combination of piercing keyboards and heavy drum beats rang through all of their songs. The fairly indistinguishable vocals made it difficult to fully appreciate their sound and while most of their performance was relatively straightforward, front man Alex Hewett did eventually inject some much needed energy into the set by jumping down into the crowd and dancing, guitar in hand.

And so came the time for the main event. The most striking thing about Django Django was that they presented a finely crafted well-rounded package. Their stage show was obviously well thought out. Designed by artist Kim Coleman, it matched their sound and personality perfectly. It wasn’t overly contrived nor was it unimaginative; it danced along to their individual beat. The beginning was truly original with giant sets of open window blinds standing behind the band as a single lightbulb swung hauntingly from side to side, casting a delightfully eerie aura across the stage.

Egyptian Hip Hop

They immediately launched into a set filled with catchy numbers and intriguing arrangements. Often what would start as a gentle guitar-led piece accompanied by beautiful vocal harmonies would coalesce into a heavy keyboard dance number. But anyone who has heard their album will know that Django Django’s ability to do this and create incredibly catchy tunes all the while is what makes them special. It took at least three songs for the crowd to warm up which may be indicative of the fact the band have received so much acclaim. One could deduct that a good amount of people came to see what all the hype was about. They were rewarded for their risk with an indisputably accomplished performance.

Django Django
Django Django

The band themselves jumped around spiritedly to their music keeping the energy of the set high. It didn’t massively speed up or slow down, the entire show was like a train travelling at a set pace from start to finish. They operated as a whole unit, and while lead singer Vincent Neff chatted to the audience in between songs, no one member of the band stood out. They are clearly an intriguing bunch but very little was given away in terms of their group dynamic or individual personalities. It was surprising but welcome to witness that they are still humble, clearly overwhelmed by the size of what they called the biggest crowd they had played to date.

Django Django

Going to a Django Django gig is a complete sensory experience. No part of it stands out from another but the overall sum of its units is compelling. For this band each component of the performance is weighted with equal importance; music + appearance + personality = jackpot. Expect more as they grow and expect even better.

Django Django
Django Django

Gig Review by Nic Jones
Gig Photos by John Bentley

Follow Django Django on Twitter and Facebook.

3 Responses to “Django Django + Egyptian Hip Hop + Gulp @ The HMV Ritz, Manchester, UK – 23rd October 2012”

  1. Review for Gig Junkies – Django Django | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] Django Django + Egyptian Hip Hop + Gulp @ The HMV Ritz, Manchester, UK – 23rd October 2012 […]

  2. Naomi Says:

    Sounds like one not to be missed, buying tickets for their upcoming London gig now.

  3. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Tame Impala + Young Dreams @ The Leadmill, Sheffield, UK – 2nd November 2012 Says:

    […] simply revisiting and rehashing the past, they, like a lot of other new bands this year (eg. Toy, Django Django), really seem to be creating something new and […]

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