Sunday, November 16, 2008

For the want of a cuddle...

Islington Lexington. 12nov08.

“Yay, we did it.”

So says singer Calum Gunn, like an excited pre-teen on completion of an Airfix model with the negligible help of their alcoholic father. Dananananakroyd have just completed their first song of the night. I guess we all played our part though, guitarist David Roy having insisted prior to that the song wouldn’t start “until we all do this” whilst waggling his fingers in the air [see below].

There are six members of Dananananakroyd, half of whom (including Gunn and Roy) are eager to speak to the crowd, the other being John Baillie Junior who shuttles between the second drum set and acting as a second vocalist like an eager plate-spinner. Not that Baillie spends that much time at the front of the stage, whenever he is on the mic he tends to occupy a space within the mosh.

He is not the only one keen to blur the stand-offish boundary implied by the lip of the stage, he, Gunn and Roy running regular into the crowd like rabbiting beagles. Behind them drummer Paul Carlin, bassist Laura Hyde and guitarist Duncan Robertson keep things together as the others go out to play.

Certainly, they are not content with owning the stage, they want to own the room, and use us as their tools. First there is the ‘Wall of Cuddles’ where the room is divided into two baying packs facing off before charging at each other and cuddling the first person we come across. I didn’t get a cuddle, those of us at the back having to jump on people’s backs like some kind of assault course/rugby scrum/clusterf***. Where’s the romance?

As it happens, that’s here too. Later they create a tunnel of love from the arching arms of punters down the centre of the room, those that traverse it together ending up married. “This is LEGALLY BINDING!” they remind us, Gunn adding “Yay, we did it”, for about the tenth time tonight, as the tunnel explodes out into a tumultuous mosh.

However, despite all the stagecraft; the climbing like frightened monkeys on speaker-stacks and into DJ booths and the team-bonding excursions, these aren’t slight of hand, taking the attention away from a substandard set of songs. Dananananakroyd apply a hardcore energy and guitar sound to a post-post-post-punk-pop-punk jerk and spasm, turning their “hissy fits into sissy hits.” It’s difficult to take your eyes off them and it’s a deal your ears will want in on. “So, we’ll agree to disagree and you’ll just go and buy our stuff” says Gunn at the end, knowing he needs not these possessions, now that he has this room and all those in it.

Dananananakroyd @ MySpace
Dananananakroyd blog from London date



Blogger Simon said...

Two of my top three gigs (leaving out festivals and alldayers) of 2008 have involved Dananananaykroyd supporting Johnny Foreigner. Even if barely anyone took part in the Wall Of Cuddles when it was introduced for the second occasion (the first merely settling for swapping instruments with audience members)

6:57 pm  
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