Monday, 18 February 2008


Seeing a good gig, as I have mentioned previously, is an absolute Staple. But seeing a dance outfit in a gig situation can be hit and miss. I was lucky enough to see Simian Mobile Disco a couple of months back, but their lacklustre, short set, coupled with an almost complete lack of stage excitement - two guys strolling around a big circular synth pressing buttons does not a show make - left me wanting. I have also been lucky enough to see, and more importantly hear, some great DJs in clubs, but at a gig, they have to put on a show and entertain with their live performance rather than just stick the album on and bounce up and down. When I saw Four Tet, the visuals were both clever and absorbing, but Kieran Hebden himself was just bopping in front of his laptop. We had no idea if he was checking emails, or actually playing a set. My faith in brilliant DJ shows was restored however, at Thursday's Justice show at the Astoria. They were positioned amidst a Spinal Tap-style wall of enormous Marshall amps, above a Battlestar Galactica digital bank of bleepy lights. In the middle, the trademark Justice illuminated cross, which is the focus and usually the sole discernible subject of any photos taken of Justice gigs. More importantly, they played genuinely Live tracks, remixed and rearranged in a completely new way. For a band with a such well-known repertoire, some of which are now a good few years old, they sounded fresh and took their eye-bleeding techno to a new level, throwing in familiar lyrics and noises amidst a wall of euphoric, ripped sound. This combo juiced the audience so much so that every last person was not just tapping their feet, but full-on dancing, right up to the rafters. I left feeling uplifted and played the album on the bus home - a sure sign of hearing something fab. Complete genius. A veritable Staple - seeing music you love played in a fresh way that makes you fall in love with it all over again. Et Justice pour tous...

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