Masters at Work
Alt+0134 before you ask.
So I’d seen the Parisian duo DJ at Sankeys last year and it blew my socks off, as well as left me with some permanent hearing damage. But what would they be like 8 months on in concert, playing their own stuff at a venue usually reserved for indie/rock gigs? I predicted to my old school friend Jack who had kindly invited me to come along, that there would be scenes of pogo carnage as one half of the audience waved glowsticks in a vague attempt to be nu-rave whilst the other half reacted in fashion not dissimilar to nu-metal.
And I wasn’t wrong.
Definitely not suitable for epileptics
Justice opened with Genesis, the opening track on their album † (Cross) [I bet the staff at HMV were cussing the day it was released], which was really of no surprise. The blasting horn-like intro is a warning call to all those at the front to fly or fight, and something that always reminds me of the start to Smash Sumthin’ by Adam F feat. Redman (Roni Size Remix preferably). I captured all of the track on video here, which also really emphasises the impressive light show that Justice put on.
Justice pretty much played out their album but with enough of a difference for the crowd to know they hadn’t just hit play. They did well to keep tracks we all know and love fresh and different in a live environment. They padded out the remainder of their set with a few remixes including The Fallen by Franz Ferdinand, they teased elements of Atlantis to Interzone by The Klaxons and after bringing the lights all the way up they brought ’em all the way back down again for their encore of NY Excuse by LCD Soundsystem.
But their most impressive moment by far was acknowledging Soulwax’s genius by playing a live re-edit of the Niteversion of Phan†om Pt II. Which would make it Justice – Phantom Pt II (Soulwax Niteversion Remix) (Justice Live Re-edit). A mouthful if ever there was. Nevertheless, I admired the fact that they played out someone else’s version of their own work at a live gig, but then added something of their own on top of that anyway. Fantastic.
PPE is all the rage
In all, looking around at the crowd, it was quite an interesting bunch. There were the nu-ravers complete with PPE reflective vests, the pill poppers and there over-expansive white rimmed Ray Bans, the trendies who had just turned up for We Are Your Friends [video], and everyone else in between. I enjoyed the fact that Justice played a track I hadn’t heard before as there closing number. It was closer to heavy metal hardcore than dance music and spread a few bemused looks across the crowd, but saying that my mate Jack who has his musical roots in a box labelled ‘Tidy’ enjoyed it thoroughly.
Which leaves me only to say that Justice are blurring the Rock/Dance boundary by more than the odd synth here and drum machine there, instead they’re the aural bulldozer intent of flattening the definition of genre.