Arty indie band Djan­go Djan­go show­cased their new album Mar­ble Skies at Rough Trade East. Their dis­tinc­tive sound is still there – the deep echo effects, the whoops, the har­monies – sun-dap­pled and wist­ful, adding an inten­si­ty and beau­ty to their songs. And there’s always that com­pul­sive beat under­pin­ning their mate­r­i­al, almost forc­ing you to head on to a metaphor­i­cal dance floor. Mar­ble Skies, a long time in the wait­ing, sees the band engage in a lev­el of exper­i­men­ta­tion which takes them out of their com­fort zone, while they still retain that dis­tinc­tive reas­sur­ing­ly Djan­go-esque sound.

The band played a selec­tion from the new release: title track Mar­ble Skies, which opens with a burst of 80s syn­thy pop and indulges in a bit of vocodery amuse­ment. Tic Tac Toe, the first sin­gle, is clas­sic Djan­go Djan­go with bells on – the catchy hooks, the lush har­monies, razor sharp com­po­si­tion and play­ful humour. Lat­er in the set, they play the pow­er­ful In Your Beat which sounds some­what like a Beach Boys-Krautrock mashup. 

Rebec­ca Tay­lor of Slow Club and now Self Esteem, fea­tures on Sur­face to Air and made a guest appear­ance at Rough Trade, adding a Blondie moment with Rap­ture. Her vocals add a dense and dreamy lay­er to the com­po­si­tion, and the on-stage chem­istry works a treat. Rebec­ca will be guest­ing with Djan­go Djan­go on some of their upcom­ing tour dates, and will be appear­ing with new act Self Esteem at oth­er dates too. 

Rough Trade gigs are less than an hour long, just enough time to play half a new album and slide a few old­er num­bers in – the Djan­gos worked back­wards from the gor­geous First Light back to d‑d-d-d-d‑d Default

django setlistOne of the new num­bers not played at Rough Trade was Sun­di­als which, since the gig, is the one I’ve had on repeat. It’s one of the more con­tem­pla­tive num­bers which, with its ear­ly 60s vibe, opens with more than a touch of ear­ly Simon and Gar­funkel in the vocals. Fur­ther in I’m even get­ting a hint of gospel although a friend I men­tion thinks I’ve lost my.. er.. mar­bles. Some­where mid­point, the instru­men­tal builds and tan­ta­lis­ing­ly sounds like it’s head­ing into a full-on dance bel­ter… but then reins itself in. Sun­di­als is ripe for a remix or two, which I’m look­ing for­ward to.

The Djan­go Djan­go four­some now heads out on tour and there’ll be some fes­ti­val dates for sum­mer too. Let’s wait and see. 

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