One-off acoustic gig with string section sees Cajuns turn virtuoso

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Cajun Dance Party; George IV, Turnham Green, London , Sunday, July 1

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Cajun Dance Party; George IV, Turnham Green, London , Sunday, July 1

So, where were you when Diana died? NME was at a car-boot sale in Wyntheshawe looking for rare Charlatans 12-inches. Cajun Dance Party, we suspect, were watching kiddies’ cartoons or collecting football stickers. Tonight though, while a nation mourns/rejoices/cringes* (*delete as appropriate) on the tenth anniversary of the death of the People’s Princess, CDP are pushing their scatter-pop through new boundaries that see them step forward as the Way Out West band most likely to outlive their teens.


Most bands wait until they’ve sold about six million records before undertaking seven or eight songs acoustically and underpinned by a string section. But this is no ordinary band, and The Verve had better do a good version of ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ on their comeback tour, because here and now ‘The Next Untouchable’ and ‘Colourful Life’ peak with ethereal magnificence – the latter perhaps a fitting paean to a much-loved Princess of the past, whether they meant it that way or not.


It’s an ambitious set-up: three violinists, a cellist, double-bass, massive keyboard, a guitarist and, of course, 17-year-old singer Danny Bloomberg, all perched precariously on a stage the size of a garden shed. Danny breezes on and crouches down in a Bono-Borrell stance waiting for ‘the moment’ – shame he knocks over a music stand and bumps the head of Robbie’s guitar on the way up. But once he’s there, standing proud and almost thinner than the microphone stand itself, he leads his charges through this vibrant, sprightly, and genuinely exciting extension of their already addictive brand of sexually tensile sunshine-pop. The previously unaired ‘No Joanna’ sounds tailor-made for strings (note to their debut album producer Bernard Butler: we don’t want to hear it any other way now).


Princes William and Harry are not the only young, well-to-do impresarios making history tonight; the Blue Flowers club promoters might just have found the headliners for Concert For Diana 2017.


Matt Warwick