Django Django were a revelation, and the Scots-Anglo-Irish quartet will no doubt endure, says David Pollock
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ONCE more, the NME’s annual four-band package showcase of music it believes deserving of a push into the public eye proved almost unimpeachable in terms of quality and somewhat infuriatingly chosen as if to convince us that all new music worth a damn in the UK is made by white males. The traditional bill-footing wildcard slot so memorably filled in the past by the likes of Azealia Banks and Franz Ferdinand was occupied here by Birmingham indie-rockers Peace, while Palma Violets speak of a certain desire to keep the ghost of the Libertines alive.
Another emerging tradition at these events seems to be the inclusion of an artist with whom most in the audience will be familiar, implicitly allowing them to present the case for the rediscovery – or at least re-energising – of their career. Sometime Rascals and Last Shadow Puppets member Miles Kane didn’t let the side down, the Merseysider’s leg-arched, leather-jacketed swagger at once emphasising that this is an artist who falls into that esteemed but possibly trad category “friend of Paul Weller” (the pair’s co-written You’re Gonna Get It was a highlight) and belying the concealed subtleties of loud, muscular garage rockers like Rearrange and Inhaler.
In the headline slot, however, Scots-Anglo-Irish quartet Django Django were a revelation, not least for how much feverish signature tracks like Storm and the breakthrough Default inspired in an audience who probably have an allergic reaction to crunching vintage synthesisers. Their matching jumpers and Morricone-meets-the-Human-League aesthetic proved irresistible, and will no doubt endure well beyond the vagaries of seasonal taste.