Tag Archives: Death From Above 1979

Primavera Sound 2015 (Friday)

My Friday begins where it seems I spent half my weekend, down at the Pitchfork stage EX HEX are lavishing us with their attitude filled, yet truly enthralling pop sound; yeah I missed The Pastels, and I’m gutted but Mary Timony’s addictive vocals and sharp punk melodies more than make up for not seeing our home town darlings.

Next up is the first of two Earth Song treks (see previous days for a kind of explanation) this weekend to the Heineken stage and it’s more than worth it as not only does my trip, via the press arena (also an Earth Song away), mean I bump in to last night’s star of the festival Kelela, but Patti Smith & Band are set to make things a bit more special on stage too.

Night two begins for me with Patti Smith, performing seminal album Horses and the most noticeable thing is the size of the crowd, perhaps the largest for any artist I see across the weekend.

Playing Primavera as the first night of a European tour, Patti and her band tear through an awesome set; her enthusiasm and dialogue with the audience is excellent, encouraging free speech and personal betterment.

Finishing with ‘Gloria’, the crowd is left near euphoric by one of the best sets all weekend.

Making a mad dash to catch the last song of Tobias Jesso Jr. back at Pitchfork, I’m left slightly underwhelmed after Patti’s powerful performance, not that Jesso is bad, just his timid numbers, that are delightful on record, manage to get lost in a mass of sound overflow and chattering audience; maybe one to see in front of his own audience.

After missing The Pastels and knowing it was likely I would miss The Vaselines tomorrow, the need to see a Glasgow band was left to Belle and Sebastian, and while it’s not quite a patch on the full orchestra show they pulled off in Glasgow a few weeks before, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun and chance to let loose and sing-along as Stuart Murdoch prances about in that stupid hat.

The band do well to avoid cramming the set with new songs and keep a nice level mix that is topped off by an airing of ‘Electronic Renaissance’ and a pals questionable dance moves (“this is a good one”).

One of my biggest regrets of 2014 was not catching Perfume Genius when he played the CCA in Glasgow (one of us did).

‘Too Bright’ became one of my most listened albums of last year, so I was thrilled to be able to finally catch him live.

If you’re not familiar, Perfume Genius is the stage name for Mike Hadreas, a Seattle-based musician, whose material tends to go from poignant, dark ballads to all out camp power-pop bangs and tonight is no different.

Songs such as ‘Grid’, ‘Too Bright’ and ‘Fool’ sound particularly excellent and closer ‘Queen’ has the whole audience moving, one way or another.

Based on recent tours and supports, Perfume Genius continues to climb and based on this performance, it’s not hard to see why.

Shabazz Palaces at Nice N Sleazy was probably the best gig I went to the whole of last year, so I was thrilled to be able to see them again.

Playing a considerably shorter set (they played Sleazy’s for over two hours last year!) they don’t waste any time in getting right down to business, and they sound incredible, probably the best I heard across the weekend and their set is as slick and punctuated as I would expect; another stellar performance and a great way to keep the night going.

The stand out performer of Friday night came as a surprise, at least to myself; I had previously only heard Pharmakon on record and while her extreme sounding, multi textured recordings are a true audible experience they prepare you little for how gobsmackingly excellent she is live.

Margaret Chardiet is a real presence, she thrusts around the stage with an array of instruments, the main one appears to be a sheet of metal hooked up to various sound devices, and compels everyone into a state of awe; all the harshness of the records is still there, but the sheer spectacle of it all is enough to let that fade.

Pharmakon could have been as intimidating as Sunn O))) were the night before, instead she allows her immersive sound to totally engage everyone, giving no rest bite and no chance of anyone leaving before she is done, which in all fairness isn’t very long, but any more intensity of this level could push a few over the edge.

The crowd for Run The Jewels on the Pitchfork stage is so large that we have to fight our way through just to get remotely close to the front.

Opening with the massive ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’ after a huge entrance to Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’, RTJ completely knock it out of the park and the audience, for lack of a better phrase, completely lose their shit.

Playing material from both albums, Killer Mike and El-P look like they’re having the time of their lives, as does the buzzing Barcelona crowd.

My adventures also take me to a full on dance and rap along to RTJ, the duo seem to have caught the world’s attention, finally and rightfully, giving the Barcelona crowd that cherished bit of hip-hop brilliant that no one else quite manages this year.

A peek at the Ray-Ban stage has me seeing Death From Above 1979 for the second time since their reformation, and the duo are just as dull as the first time, so I leave before the end of their set once again, only this time not across the road to Broadcast and How To Dress Well, but round the corner to Pitchfork and Death From Above signed The Juan MacLean, whose edgy disco tinged infectious, yet experimental dance whips up a storm of dancing bodies as we enter the small hours of the morning.

At the age I am now, it’s always nice to be surprised when you check out an artist for the first time and they completely blow you away, which is exactly what happened to me with Jon Hopkins.

On the recommendation of a friend I checked out his set and was completely and utterly hooked, supported by background visuals and on-stage performers, Hopkins’ set is powerful, moving and just straight up genius; the best I saw all weekend and someone I certainly hope to catch again soon.

I manage to hang around til pretty much the end tonight, until the clock is near hitting six, and as the haze draws over my night the sheer throw back fun of RATATAT cannot be ignored, I hadn’t been aware of anything the duo had done in years, but it all sounds fresh and fun, getting the Ray-Ban stage in the party mood with tracks like classic ‘WildCat’.

Everything is a little to far gone and a bit beyond keeping up the dancing for Objekt at the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System stage or indeed Dixon’s deep house back at the Ray-Ban, but for those who may have indulged at little more than myself the night seems to more than end on an infectious high.

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Death From Above 1979, Turbowolf at O2 ABC, 23/2/15

After a storming return to Scottish soil with a sold out show at The Garage in October of last year, Death From Above 1979 do not wait long to return to our fine city; bringing English rock band, Turbowolf along with them.

Despite the relatively small crowd and inevitable Monday night attitude of the audience, Turbowolf don’t hold back.

Frontman, Chris Georgiadis greets the crowd with the sort of energy that no amount of coffee and energy drinks will give your average man, between each song telling the crowd that it is in fact Friday night not Monday, but sadly, most of the crowd don’t fall for his ploy.

But, as the set goes on, the bands powerful rhythm section and big riffs manage to capture a portion of the crowd.

As Turbowolf leave the stage, the room, which seemed fairly empty only minutes ago, begins to fill the brim.

With a giant image of the bands iconic elephant trunk logo hanging at the back of the stage, anticipation begins to build.

The duo take to the stage, with drummer/singer, Sebastian Grainger kitted out in white overalls and no shirt.

The band waste not time and kick into the opener from their debut album, ‘Turn It Out’, before firing into a barrage of tracks from their 2014 release, The Physical World.

As the band only have two full length albums, setlists between this show and the their last Glasgow show are inevitably similar, but the noticeable difference tonight is in crowd reactions; tracks from the latest album are now receiving a noticeably bigger reaction than tracks from their classic debut record.

Despite some sound issues, the band blast out a high energy set, intertwining songs with haunting samples, belting out classics like ‘Going Steady’ and ‘Little Girl’ before closing out on the 2014 track ‘Always On’.

With a chanting crowd refusing to leave, the duo return to the stage and fire out two classics from their 2004 album, ‘Cold War’ and ‘Romantic Rights’, before closing out the title track from their latest album, the fast driving song ‘The Physical World’.

With Grainger’s drum kit now in pieces, the band leaves the stage with an astonished crowd staring at them.

After a somewhat lengthy break, I think it’s safe to say that Death From Above 1979 are well and truly back and are showing no signs of slowing down.

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Words: Iain Gillon
Photos: Michael Gallacher

Death From Above 1979, Greys at The Garage, 22/10/14

For many (including myself), Death From Above 1979 are a very special band and a lot of us assumed we would never get the chance to see the Toronto two-piece perform, but in the summer of this year, it was not only revealed that the group would return with their first album in ten years, The Physical World, but that they would return for a UK tour.

Tonight, DFA1979’s first Glasgow visit since touring their cult classic album I’m a Women You’re a Machine, The Garage is packed to the rafters with many left unable to find a ticket.

First off we’re treated to an extremely impressive set from Toronto post-hardcore band, Greys.

With a sound remnant of fellow Canadians METZ as well as legendary acts like Husker Du and Drive Like Jehu, the band are tight and play with a great amount of energy, really winning over the sold out crowd.

After 25-minutes of country music blasting over the PA, the lights go down and it’s time for the legendary duo to take to the stage.

They come on to an ominous intro track with bassist Jesse F. Keeler teasing the crowd with his signature bass squeals, but then it all stops and we hear the iconic tense piano intro to their debut album.

Across an 18-song set, the band don’t waste time talking, playing flawlessly Sebastian Grainger astonishes the crowd with his ability to sing and drum without an issue.

With a crowd going wild, they blast through the songs everyone wants to hear, opening on ‘Turn It Out’ firing through singles from the new album like ‘Government Trash’ and ‘Trainwreck 1979’, with a sure highlight being the 2004 hit ‘Little Girl’.

After leaving the stage there are only two songs left that the band could possibly play and the crowd are not going anywhere without hearing them, they expectedly return with ‘Cold War’ before hitting the crowd with iconic scratchy bass intro of ‘Romantic Rights’.

An unbelievable, high energy and hit filled show from one of the most innovative rock acts of this generation, gig goers can only hope they don’t have to wait another 10 years for the duo to return.

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Words: Iain Gillon
Photos: Euan Robertson