As a band currently in the glare of the media spotlight, one has to wonder why a group as ordinary as Night Moves are so feted. Vocalist, John Pelant, could have staggered on stage from his badly-paid day job singing for a Starsailor tribute band, while their use of a drum machine is most likely their idea of being innovative. It’s not that Domino’s latest signing are bad – they can write songs which will get them played on the radio. But will their bland countrified soft rock make them anyone’s favourite band? It’s unlikely.
Django Django, on the other hand, are already well on their way to becoming much beloved in many people’s hearts, heads and pelvises. On their first visit to Dublin, at the Grand Social last February, the crowd had already decided they were worthy of adoration. The band were overawed by the clammy warmth of the Socialites and as fun a gig as it was, the reality was that the band weren’t quite ready for it. Fast forward a year and Django Django are all set. From the moment they march onto the smiley-face backdropped stage, it’s clear that we’re now dealing with a well-oiled beast – this is a band whose 2012 was a blur of venues and tour buses and, holy fuckballs, have they got their glow-sticked shit together.
Although clearly not lavish with cash, there is a decent psych-inspired light show, the songs run speedily from one right into the next and they’ve become tighter than Brian Cowen in spandex. Songs such as ‘Firewater’ and ‘Waveforms’, while relatively tame in their recorded versions, have ripened into three dimensional rave stompers. ‘Default’, a song they’ve struggled to capture properly live, even comes into its own by the end. If the Django lads have one problem, it’s that the length of the set currently outdistances the number of great songs they have. One can’t help but feel that there are a few filler tracks piped into the middle of the set and once they have another album, some of the second-rate material will get filed away forever. However, it’s unquestionable that Django Django are one of the most interesting bands we’ve got at the moment and it’s nice to see America embracing them with outstretched glowsticks.