There’s no party like a Dan Deacon party

Posted by jill on June 5, 2009

Dan Deacon, originally uploaded by jellybeanz.

Watching a Dan Deacon show isn’t really about the music. For the first part of the Dan Deacon and the Wham City Ensemble gig, it seemed like that he had just aimed a bit too high. While Bromst is an amazing album, here were too many silly vocal effects that ruined the live interpretation of the songs.

However, part way of the show the atmosphere changed. It didn’t matter any more that you couldn’t really see the stage, but the whole gig was an experience instead. From asking the audience to touch the head of the person in front of them and squeezing against the wall to create a large circle, everyone was just under the spell of Dan Deacon.


Hox to Dot

Posted by jill on May 23, 2008

Dan Deacon, originally uploaded by jellybeanz.

Two and a bit weeks of a ridiculous number of gigs followed by three weeks of nothing at all, and now an extended weekend of ‘festivals’: Hox to Dot on Thursday and the Brainlove alldayer on Saturday.

Hox to Dot was surprisingly good fun. I had expected the venues to be rammed, but it was not too busy, and it was easy to get into any of the shows. The line up could have been busier, since there were a couple of moments where I had spare 15 minutes to fill, but it also meant that the evening wasn’t too rushed. What was tough was to get to work after only 5 hours sleep (at least that was still more than what I managed the night of Soulwax.

An advantage of a multi-venue festival is the chances to watch things that I would not normally see. Juiceboxxx is one such example. An ‘MC’ performing over a synthy backing track, it could be something that would be terrible in practice. But it was actually enormously fun. Not that I would probably pay just to see him.

On the other hand, going to see things only because you’ve seen the name about is also highly risky. I went to see Iglu & Hartly because they had been featured on Popjustice. They turned out to be a rap/funk/pop band, trying to sound a bit like the Beastie Boys but without the edge.

There were some other great discoveries though. Oppenheimer were cute, like a more innocent version of the Postal Service. Cadence Weapon was the first point in the evening when the audience really got into the music. I look forward to seeing him again at Slottsfjell in July.

The two acts I wanted to see in particular were Eugene McGuinness and Dan Deacon. Eugene McGuinness’s set was great, but at only 20 minutes long, way too short. His mini album is still getting regular plays, and the new songs sound pretty great too. Dan Deacon’s closing set was as much fun as usual, although the Macbeth didn’t work as well as a venue as The Dome did. Maybe it was because it was the end of a long evening on a school night, with a smaller crowd, the show wasn’t as crazy as the one in December. We still did get everything from a Dan Deacon show, the green skull, the interaction and of course the great music.


Favourite gigs of 2007

Posted by jill on December 31, 2007

1. Daft Punk @ Wamu Theater, Seattle, WA, USA – 29th July
2. !!!, Holy Fuck, Midnight Juggernauts @ Koko, London, UK – 7th November
3. Dan Deacon @ The Dome, London UK – 7th December
4. Capitol Hill Block Party @ Seattle, WA, USA – 27th July
Girl Talk @ Bardens Boudoir, London, UK – 11th December
Matt and Kim and Jonquil @ The Barfly, London, UK – 9th November
5. Electrelane @ Koko, London, UK – 29th November
6. Acoustic Ladyland @ the Zodiac, Oxford UK – 29th April
7. Grizzly Bear @ the Scala, London, UK – 21st May
8. Silver Mt Zion and Jonquil @ the Zodiac, London, UK – 3rd May
9. Youthmovies, TTNG, Jonquil, Meet me in St Louis @ a house party, Oxford, UK 14th April
10. Beirut @ Rough Trade East, London, UK – 5th November
11. The Shins @ Bush Hall, London, UK – 26th February
12. Forward Russia @ Borderline, London, UK – 6th December


Fun, Interactive Gigs

Posted by jill on December 8, 2007

Dan Deacon @ the Dome, originally uploaded by jellybeanz.

Last night’s Dan Deacon gig was one of the most party-like gigs I’ve ever been to. Along with a line up that encouraged audience interaction, the church hall like feel of the venue (there was even a Santa’s Grotto at the side of the room) added to the kid’s birthday party feel of the night (except we were drinking alcohol).

The first two acts of the night set up the mood of the night. Both Cutting Pink with Knives and Gay Against You were slightly crazy, and ran rings around the audience. Gay against You also had costume changes and hilariously obvious songs about unicorns and hoodies. Making the best use of the space in the room, John Maus performed from the Grotto, singing reverb-rich songs that sounded like 80s synth pop-gone-weird. Fun for the first 10 minutes, but after that I wished the reverb had been switched off for a bit. In a complete contrast to the acts before, No Age reverted to the basic drums and guitar.

By this point it was midnight, and the length of the gig was beginning to get to me. Luckily it was time for Dan Deacon. His show was just as much fun as I expected. Performing in the middle of the floor, with the audience all around him, Dan Deacon played amazingly catchy, short songs. Just right for my attention span by that point of the evening. There was a green skull, and other lights coming from where he performed, and even a section for a high-5 kids like party game. More than a performer, Dan Deacon was like a party entertainer for the night.