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- Dananananaykroyd »
Tonight's show was supposed to be cancelled because one of Dananananaykroyd's drummers had to go home. For most bands, being a drummer down would mean a cancellation or, at worst, a fucking rubbish acoustic set. Tonight's show is not cancelled, though. It happens very, very nicely indeed thank-you very much. So, deciding at the last minute that they actually could cope with fifty per cent percussion force may have meant a slightly smaller audience, but it also means that singer Calum sits down behind the vacant second kit for small portions of the night. So we're actually at about sixty-two percent percussion force, or thereabouts.
When they start (and they do just start, with no count-in, just a miraculous unison start) it is clear that no energy whatsoever is spared this evening. Teeth are bared, drumsticks twirl at about eleven feet and, most importantly, there is a completely ridiculous goofy grin on every member's face. If you were trying to fathom their influences, you might suggest that the 1980s have a lot to do with it, particularly with some of their haircuts and the fact that one drummer wears those gay little drumming gloves (though judging by the astounding ferocity with which he thwacks, they seem entirely reasonable). No matter, because they manage to absolutely rule their space in the finest pop-metal-pop-pop-pop fashion imaginable.
Guitarists David and Duncan jump from the stage (slightly-raised floor area) to the pit (the normal floor area) like kids into a sandpit, milking with the driest of wits every cock-rock cliché imaginable. 'Totally Bone' is a disgusting fur ball of a song, accentuated by taut and, frankly, infantile shrieking, but all the better for it. Introduced as their 'hit', 'Some Dresses' is the warmest of all. Hearing five Scots shout the opening refrain of "Yeah! Can you smell it in the air?!" is utterly heartening and produces a gang mentality that separates Dananananaykroyd from most bands. You feel that, no matter how lanky or gangly or misshapen this band may be, you couldn't find one with a clearer sense of themselves and their role.
The intricacy of that song, 'Some Dresses', is, like, deep. Equal measures spanking-sharp pop and guttural noise, the most interesting parts of it are the lyrical and musical interrelations. In the same way that romantic composers treated Gretchen's spinning wheel in Goethe's Faust, Dananananaykroyd treat the circulatory nature of the lyric "the spinning of the wheel begins to generate the wind" with a subtle oscillatory guitar line. It's an odd touch that seems delightfully throwaway when put in context with the joyously horrifying crashes of the song's outro, but it is still a mark of quality that s the strongest evidence of songwriting craft it's possible to see. Live, those intricacies remain completely.
Constant straight-faced referencing of yore only reinforces how aware these men and woman are. Vocalist Calum speaks in a hyperactive scattergun of fragmentary pop culture, constantly re-interpreting the "did noooo receive an agenda" line from The Office, and guitarist David jumps into the audience to applaud his own band at the end of the set as if a member of the audience. I know what you're thinking, there's an awful lot going on here and it sounds unfocussed. Well, it is. And it's quite hard to describe it all. But it's very, very good. Fairly close to flawless, in fact. So there.
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