Gary Flockhart: Djangos unchain new melodies

Gary Flockhart. Pic: Comp
Gary Flockhart. Pic: Comp
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BACK when Edinburgh’s music scene was a joke - and we’re only going back a couple of years here - it used to bug me that Franz Ferdinand were permanently prefixed with the words ‘Glasgow band’.

Sure, they formed along the M8, but half their number have Capital connections.

Singer Alex Kapranos spent part of his childhood here, attending Blackhall Primary, while drummer Paul Thomson went to Portobello High School.

We should have claimed the mighty Franz as our own, but the Weegies jumped in first and took all the credit.

No matter. Not now we’re a healthy scene again, thanks to the likes of Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers and Mercury Prize-nominated Django Django.

Speaking of the Djangos, it seems the Edinburgh College of Art-formed four-piece have taken a leaf out of Franz’s book.

Back when the all-conquering, ahem, Glasgow band released their eponymous debut album in 2004, they said that their sole intention was “to make records that girls can dance to”.

Like Franz, Django Django’s first record propelled them from toilet-circuit gigs to the top of festival bills and again, like Franz, they are smart enough to play a little dumb when talking about a new album.

There’s a long tradition of clever people at first confusing the world with the apparent simplicity of what they do - and to that list you can add Django Django, who say all they’re trying to achieve with Born Under Saturn is to get more people dancing at their gigs.

Don’t be fooled by this modest game-plan. Rather than dumbing down and changing their direction, the band have actually just taken what made them so good in the first place - their blend of the exotic rhythms, close harmony singing, electronic beats and sci-fi lyrics - and ramped them up.

When the band previewed some of the tracks on the album at Liquid Room recently, it was abundantly clear they’ve succeeded in getting a crowd’s energy levels up.

Nobody likes a smart arse, but hats off to them.