Death From Above 1979
Kentish Town, London05/05/11
Death From Above 1979 are an extremely rare prospect: a band that have formed and reformed this early in our lifetimes, having only released one album, as recently as 2004. California’s Coachella festival is what’s brought Sebastian Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler back together. A lot of money will do that. The point, though, is that DFA’s reunion is impressively considered a sound investment – such is their status as cult punk heroes. What’s odd at tonight’s second sold out Forum show, is that we’re all pretty sure the pair still hate each other before they even appear, and when they do show up little is done to prove otherwise.
It’s five songs – played as precisely and fuzzily as you’d expect, although with no real sense of conviction – before either member speaks, and I can’t be sure that they looked at each other more than twice for the whole hour-long set, which at one point threatens to be over in half that time. The tracks that make up ‘You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine’ fly out of the duo, with five second pauses separating them, until Keeler decides to pad time by talking nonsense, which none of us can hear. ‘Black History Month’ is more heartfelt though, as is Grainger’s thank you before a four track encore of everything else the band have ever written, which few fans recognise. Not even an annoyingly quiet PA can make DFA 1979 look bad tonight, but, like Pixies, the reasons for this show has them looking like the machines they claimed to be.
By Danny Canter
Originally published in issue 28 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2011