Wiz­ards of odd

Their de­but is be­ing hailed as an early con­tender for al­bum of the year and Django Django are look­ing for­ward to more pe­cu­liar ad­ven­tures in psy­che­delic pop, writes Lau­ren Mur­phy

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

IT’S DE­CEM­BER 2009 in the rainy French city of Rennes, and down a pud­dle-strewn al­ley­way, four young mu­si­cians in African sa­fari cos­tumes have just blown the roof off an old Vic­to­rian dance­hall. The venue at this Trans­mu­si­cales fes­ti­val gig is packed with a crowd ea­ger to hear what Django Django are made of. They’re al­ready fa­mil­iar with the Lon­don­based band’s song Storm be­cause of its in­clu­sion on a re­cent in­die com­pi­la­tion, and so en­thused are they by the shapeshift­ing sounds of Vinny Neff and co that they de­mand an en­core. The only prob­lem is the band have a limited num­ber of songs and have never played an en­core be­fore.

“I re­mem­ber that well,” laughs Neff, a Der­ry­man who went to live in London via Ed­in­burgh Art School.

“We didn’t have any­thing else pre­pared be­cause we’d been play­ing lit­tle bars be­fore that, so we ended up do­ing Storm again. It was a re­ally bad dub ver­sion, too.”

More than two years on, some things re­main the same – most notably the quar­tet’s propen­sity for play­ing dress-up. Drum­mer Dave Ma­clean re­veals that re­cent stage cos­tumes have in­cluded me­dieval tu­nics and “cow­boy shirts with dan­gly fringes”.

Their French fan­base re­mains as loyal as ever. And yet, a lot is dif­fer­ent. They can tackle en­cores with more self-as­sur­ance these days. They have many more songs in the can than that ex­cel­lent de­but sin­gle, hav­ing fi­nally fin­ished craft­ing their long-awaited al­bum. And, per­haps most tellingly, they’ve all given up their re­spec­tive day-jobs. Back in 2009, Neff (an ar­chi­tect), Ma­clean (an art tech­ni­cian), key­boardist Tommy Grace (a graphic de­signer) and bas­sist Jimmy Dixon (who used to work at Asda), were all squeez­ing mu­sic in around their nine-to-fives. Nowa­days, they’re hav­ing back­stage en­coun­ters with Chris Isaak at gigs in Paris.

“That was pretty amaz­ing. I was keen to get a pho­to­graph with him, and the rest of them were like ‘Meh . . .’. Then, as soon as the op­por­tu­nity came up, you’ve never seen them more ex­cited in all their lives,” laughs Neff. “He said I could de­sign his apart­ment in LA. It was prob­a­bly the most rock ’n’ roll thing that’s hap­pened to us so far.”

They should prob­a­bly get used to the strange and un­ex­pected. Since they re­leased

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