Sophie Leahy • 26 July 2012


When you rock up to see the eclectic electro grooves of British indie-outfit Django Django at this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival, try to take a look at bassist Jimmy Dixon. If you peer closely, through the haze of your festival delirium, you may notice he isn’t wearing any underwear. “He takes his pants off, puts his trousers back on and then gets onstage. It’s a luck thing,” explains drummer, producer and default leader David Maclean, talking down the line from his parents house near Dundee, Scotland.

David and the band are currently on tour, flitting across the globe between now and early 2013. Covering a chunk of Europe and the UK, they are even making time to head down south, hitting up Japan and Australia. The quartet, made up of aforementioned David and Jimmy, plus Vincent Neff (singer and guitarist) and Tommy Grace (synth operator), met at art school in Edinburgh. Despite being together as a band since 2009, it was only in January 2012 that they released their highly acclaimed self-titled debut.

Since its release the album has garnered mountains of praise, largely for their innovative sound and direction that defies categorisation. This is something of a relief for David, who spent three years hauled up, perfecting every track on the album. “When you are locked away in your bedroom, you can easily start to think ‘this is crap, it’s time to give up and get a proper job.’” Luckily, David and the boys persevered, and their long labour of love has been met with open arms around the world. “By both measures, it is kind of surreal and exciting at the same time.”

A quick Google search of the band will reveal descriptions of their music vary from psychedelic pop, minimalist indie-rock, jungle funk, electro blues and surf rock. But how do Django Django see themselves? “I think I’ll stick with jungle funk,” laughs Dave, “that is quite a good one.” Generally though, genre and classification doesn’t really bother the band, who list their influences as everyone and anyone – from hip-hop heroes Public Enemy, to the disco fever of Giorgio Moroder and even The Beatles.

Diving into the album is to swim through a world swirling with synths, pounding drums, clattering handclaps, layered harmonies and casual guitar strums. North African and Middle Eastern influences trickle throughout, adding to the hallucinogenic effect their electro grooves have and the result is both dreamy and pulsating.

Heading to Australia for Splendour in the Grass, and a smattering of sideshows, David says the band is excited for their very first trip Down Under. As with any other Brit, however, he is feeling a little nervous about imminent danger that inevitably awaits him. “I actually had a dream last night that I was in Australia and got bitten by a poisonous snake. It crept under the door and bit me on the hand. I hope it’s not a premonition!” he half joked, clearly needing reassurance.

Undoubtedly he and the band will be safe, so long as Jimmy keeps his pants off.

Django Django will play Splendour In The Grass and July 31 at The Corner Hotel, Melbourne and August 1 and 2 at Oxford Art Factory, Sydney