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Django Django Interview June 2012

Anne-Marie Gallagher


Fresh from their debut on Jools Holland, psychedelic pop stars Django Django kicked off their world tour in Derry, Ireland on 21st June.

The gig was a homecoming for lead vocalist and Derry native, Vinny Neff “This will be my first time playing home turf which I’m very excited about. We played our first Irish gig in Dublin in February which is probably the craziest crowd we’ve ever had. We just finished our first headline tour in France last week and had our first crowd surfers so the gigs are getting a bit more raucous of late!”

The four piece met at art college in Glasgow and Edinburgh and after a move to London started writing and performing before eventually signing with French indie label Because Records  – who also represent acts like Metronomy and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Their self-titled debut album, which was released in January, has garnered almost universal critical acclaim. It has hints of a whole spectrum of influences from the Beach Boys to folk to electronica. This has left some music journalists struggling with a neat description for Django Django. “We all have quite diverse record collections from folk to space disco through to a lot of electronic and psychedelic world music. So a lot of influences seep in there but in the end we always hope it sounds like us. We try to make the shows really fun, there’s lot of different percussion, swapping of instruments and bad stage costumes.”

Even the origin of the band name started a debate after one reviewer put it down as an obvious reference to Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.  As Vinny is happy to clear up, the band just liked the sound of it. “We were looking for a name to put our first track on myspace. Dave [McClean] had a an old 90’s dance record called “son of django” and we had chatted about doing something like ‘liquid liquid’ or ‘Tom Tom Club’. So we thought we’d just double it up. We thought it sounded fun and a bit exotic!”

Aside from the success he’s had in the music industry, Neff also happens to be an architect. So the Derry gig held in Stirling Prize nominee, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, holds a special interest “ As soon as I saw it and the main space I really wanted our first Derry show to be there.  I used to go to Irish classes in the old Gaeláras at the top of Great James Street so its great to see it progress so much. It’s also good to see really brave architecture like this being commissioned in the city and a lot of friends I studied with in Scotland are planning to come over in the summer. It just shows that great buildings like the Cultúrlann with interesting uses can be a draw for people to come to the city.”

Django Django will be performing at some of the worlds biggest festivals this Summer including the famous Fuji Rocks in Japan, Latitude and Benicàssim. Their next single, Hail Bop, will be released on 13th August. See www.djangodjango.co.uk for more tour dates and tickets.

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