Dananananaykroyd – Hoxton Square Bar & Grill, 2/4/09


With their debut album receiving hype aplenty and most reviews being mondo-glowing thus far (including PM’s, look), Dananananaykroyd seem to be in high spirits. That they’ve been on tour forever, are physically wasting away and ill is of no consequence to their love of the live show. It’s everyone together, squashing tightened pop through the narrowest holes possible, so that when it comes out it’s the biggest, most chaotic, triumphant, sweatiest, burliest, wiriest, most battering laugh-attack you might voluntarily subject yourself to.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the limits of expression in Dananananaykroyd’s music. No song is written with half-measures in mind, no notes are wasted, and each one is played with intent. This comes across all the more in a live setting, so when you can see dust and spit flying out of vocalists John Baillie Junior and Calum Gunn when they, hugging, shriek about a cake that caught fire or something, it seems to be the most important intimations you ever heard. “We did it!” they shout at the show’s climax. “We did it together!”

Beginning with the first four songs from their upcoming Hey Everyone! LP, the pace is remarkable. Watch This is a bickering, stuttering dialogue that, after delicate and nimble beginnings, explodes into joyful, arms-aloft expressions of supreme happiness. A slightly accelerated Some Dresses, usually the time in the set where the infamous ‘Wall Of Cuddles’ (RIP) would occur, is now home to a new disco section. Gunn dons a white bio-suit for reasons unknown, the lights direct toward the disco ball, a circle is created and a dancing competition takes place. Could you be having more fun, Dananananaykroyd? Could anyone?

Climaxing with Gunn repeatedly lobbing himself into the crowd in the first section of Song One Puzzle and a sweaty encore of Chrome Rainbow, London is won over. In fact, they were won over years ago when the band first began to play here. Only now, everyone is behind Hey Everyone!, and after tonight everyone will now be behind Dananananaykroyd, one of Britain’s best live bands.

See, hear. This review also appears at the lovely Artrocker website.


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