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Glasgow O2 ABC (Monday 23rd February)

By • Feb 27th, 2015 • Category: gig reviews

It is a very rainy Monday night in Glasgow, inauspicious and a perfect time for the return (again) of the unique and incredible DFA1979, the duo who make more noise than most 4-6 pieces.

The Garage gig late on in 2014 was sold out, and this second comeback is not quite sold out but does not disappoint – this is a pretty focused crowd.

The legendary artwork (backdrop to stage, then lit up in various colours) from first album has been updated for last year’s ‘Physical World’ album, the disturbing, slightly phallic images of the two band members as entwined with each other’s hair (and beards!) with elephant trunks for noses.

They are from Canada, and had a pretty bad breakup if the press is to be believed, after first successful album ‘You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine’, but recently reconciled, and we are here to enjoy that.

After support band Turbo Wolf (file under “aspirational, technically ok musicians but no decent songs”, sorry, just telling it like it is…), DFA are on around 9pm and rip through a ridiculous 18 songs (including the encore) in around 75mins.

The nearest comparisons in sound are QOTSA and perhaps Led Zepplin speeded up some…


There are only two of them, so that explains the shortness of the songs, they are explosive bursts of energy and can only last around 2-3 minutes because they can only go for that long, guitar and drums/vocals/effects, the two-piece from hell.

There are brief pauses and polite dialogue with the audience in between these visceral, sharding barbs of metal on metal, pounding, frizzling fretting and humungous riffs. Lyrics address world issues, personal identity, s%% and other concerns.

There is a sizeable bit of the audience moshing wildly, but good-naturedly.

Material is taken mainly from second album but quite a few from first album as well.

BM’s main reason to be here tonight is to witness them playing ‘Trainwreck 1979’, a track which is huger than anything heard last year, a massive riff stamped onto some yearning lyrics, admitting personal failings: “Problem in my brain”, and better than any other DFA track played here tonight. It was massive, but there are other things here to explore.

These guys are the real deal, the interplay between them occasionally tense, but they are holding together an entire show, and enthralled crowd, between the two of them, no chance for comedy drummer moments cos he is leading the show – BM got a real tingle, just comparing them and fellow Canadian Laughing Len Cohen and about the responsibility of keeping it real, passed down, no maybe just BM…

The encore comprised three songs, after which there really was not much point in yelling for more, they were spent, all the material, all the sweat, from Belfast previously to Manchester the next night, good grief…

Who knows how long this trainwreck will last, but tonight it was here.

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