live review// django django + ncza lines
live review// Django Django + NCZA Lines, St Pauls Church – June 15th
With a society who’s reliance on religion is in decline, what will become of the magnificent cathedrals and towering churches? We don’t make them like we used to, well with the exception of the on-going construction of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. These vast venues are perfect for concerts, although the reverb can become an issue.
The St. Paul’s Centre is no exception and it’s getting in on the gig action whilst God still has a place in our society. It comes complete with pews to remind you are indeed in a church. It’s an odd atmosphere. A bar in the house of God? Where do I put my empty bottle? Surely not on the alter, organ or pews; it’s a strange dynamic.
As the sun glares through the painted glass at the back of the church onto the stage, NZCA/LINES walk up onto the stage accompanied by choral singers (albeit recorded). The song is cut short as Michael Lovett thumps out ‘New Magnetic North’ on his sampling pad. This mix of the archaic and the futuristic works brilliantly in our postmodern society (if we haven’t transgressed yet!).
Rather than playing his tracks completely electronically, Lovett is supported by a bassist and a drummer. To help spice things up further, above their heads is a projected video of flashing colours, bars and other shapes that keep pace to the songs. They played through roughly half of the self-titled album, including the singles ‘Okinawa Channels’ and ‘Compass Points’ ending with an energetic rendition of ‘Axels and Ashes’ that saw the drummer lose his headphones and Lovett pick up his keyboard and rock out like it was a keytar. A brilliant performance!
After a short delay (well the football was on) Django Django come out wearing matching tshirts and waving to the eager audience. Opening the set just like the album with ‘Introduction’ proves to be the perfect, well, introduction to what is likely to be one of the best albums of 2012. They follow straight into ‘Hail Bop’ and then ‘Storm’ without pause. As the song dies down the audience erupts into woops and applause. Frontman Vinny says he can ‘feel enlightenment coming on’. One of the bonuses of playing before the eyes of God, I suppose!
Playing nearly the entirety of their album wasn’t enough for the audience who demanded, and received, an encore despite the band’s protestation that they only had ‘one album out’. We were flattered by the band announcing that we were the ‘best audience of the tour’ and receiving a thank you from each member as they left the stage to an uproarious response from the audience. I’m sure the Djangos will be eager to come back to Cambridge and in a larger venue that they could have filled from the outset.