Death From Above 1979 – Electric Ballroom, London. 20th October 2014


Mostly showcasing tracks from their new album, The Physical World, after several years since they last played London (HMV Forum back in 2011), and about ten years since the last album release, Death From Above 1979 could have played and sold out a bigger venue than the more intimate Electric Ballroom, judging from the crammed excitement within the site.

With touts outside desperate to purchase tickets off us exclusive lot who felt more like they were about to embrace Willy Wonka’s factory, well certainly if it produced goods with Sebastien Grainger and Jesse Keeler with those renowned trunk-like noses.

Certainly one for the DFA enthusiasts, of which there were many, with a crowded merchandise stall and Halloween costumes already being worn out in the form of the well-known band logo masks. Port folioing Canadian talent with openers, Greys (who no-one I was with had heard of), we were subjected to nothing but the Canadian rock sound for the entirety of the evening, and obviously received a warm reception.

Despite my attempts to stand there inhaling the atmosphere, it was problematic trying not to get swept away within the vibe of the gig, feeling compelled to also purchase a mask, head-banging, toe flailing

Making their comeback with another dance punk album, and thereby tour, this time a little more swayed towards the dance than punk than I’m a Woman, You’re a Machine (YAWIAM), I assume it’s been a while since the Electric Ballroom has seen this kind of energy. Many around me were wisely wearing earplugs, as I did not expect the volumes of thrashing that the pair a capable of. However, with certain tracks, such as Romantic Rights, played in the encore, it was actually possible to hear the crowd over this thrashing.

Expectedly tracks like Right On Frankenstein, and Virgins excelled our ears, but they were obviously hinting more to the new acclaimed The Physical World album, exciting the crowd with seminal renditions of Government Trash and the recently released single, Trainwreck. Although they had played the Forum a few years ago, and also reformed for Coachella Festival, there was a sense of a ten year’s anticipation for this gig, which you could almost taste in sweat in the Ballroom.

Judging from the response from the crowd, particularly two curious fellows in front of me, they met this anticipation successfully, giving their fans a gig where they kept their chat to a minimum just thrashing track after track out, allowing them to incorporate tracks from the debut album, which loyal fans were grateful to hear, for it is not often that this band make it across the Atlantic, even release an album.

And it was clear from those there that the loyal and older fans were in abundance, as one of the most notable gig moments was whilst they were performing Little Girl, enthusiasts slowly edging towards a clear moshing ground, whilst Jesse was conventionally rocking-out (as they say) generously distributing his beads of hair sweat with us.

Although the new album personally does not hit the correct levels of punk that YAWIAM do, this gig was one not to be missed, as any sort of Death From Above 1979 fan, as not only is it a rarity to see them play but more generally, it is a rarity to see a band work their way through a set list as extensive as this (despite only two albums), exciting their older, as well as their more youthful fan base. If they hit London or anywhere in the UK for that matter within the next ten years I urge you to take a trip to this dance mosh-pit of scenesters.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.