April 19, 2007
Cajun Dance Party/To My Boy/Jakobinarina: King’s College, London; Saturday, March 31
Cajuns bring a little extra spice to an already chaotic all-ages party
During Vietnam, the average age of a top band was 26. During the Endless War Against Terror, it is n-n-n-not even n-n-n-nineteen. This afternoon, at King’s College first all-ages show, it’s barely pubescent. Here are three bands, median age: 17, and all flag-bearers for a generation that, more than any other, seem to have both the means and the suss to do it for themselves. If they’re not getting pissed up outside that is. Most of the audience are hastily knocking back cans of Stella beyond the glassy gaze of security when Icelanders Jakobínarína strike up. Which means they miss their glorious chugging take on ‘This Charming Man’-era Smiths.
By the time To My Boy take over though, they’ve migrated inside, and begin laying a plucky – if hopelessly optimistic – siege to the bar. A pair of hipster Daleks from Liverpool, TMB hold their guitars like laser cannons and seem so futuro-obsessive they probably burp in binary. Their desire to live inside a mainframe takes a dent when they have to re-boot their third member (a MacBook) seconds into track one, but the pair soon recover, spitting out the delicious fuzzed-up DOS love poem of ‘Tell Me Computer’, the C3PO-doing-aerobics of ‘I Am X-Ray’ and the gorgeous dot-matrix glam of new single ‘Models’. The crowd’s verdict: computer says ‘Yes, please’.
As producer Bernard Butler hovers unrecognised at the back of the room, scene heroes Cajun Dance Party take to the stage. Sixteen-year-old chief Cajun Daniel Blumberg may look and sound like a slightly-less-evil Luke Kook, but there’s nothing ‘media’ or contrived about his presence.
Here are a band without a cynical bone in them, who make willowy indie pop that breezes into 2007’s top-drawer, taut and fully-formed. From the bruised balladry of ‘Time Falls’, to the early-Cure of ‘The Race’ – with its unexpected darkside-lightside flit that tears off towards the finish line with the bandy-legged enthusiasm of The Futureheads – there’s something almost eerie about how musically articulate these nippers are. As the mad spirograph riffs of new single ‘The Next Untouchable’ ring through the (musically) inebriated audience, they bay for an encore. There isn’t one.
“We, um, don’t have one,” Daniel explains afterwards. “We’ve just never needed it. We haven’t done that many headline shows.” Wise-up, bud. You’re not going to get through 2007 without several.
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