Dananananaykroyd @ KCLSU, London 04/11/11

November 8, 2011 by  

It’s been just over a month since Dananananaykroyd declared that this UK tour would be their last. The self-proclaimed ‘six-man musical fireball’ will soon be doused forever, and nobody really knows why. The press release announcing the split was vague about the details, but a quick look at the band’s Twitter page suggests that money problems are the main suspect. Like a flower without sunlight, Dananananaykroyd have run out of one the main resources required to keep going. This is an extremely tragic occurrence, because the words on everyone’s lips at the end of this gig were, on the whole, some variation of this: ‘Who in their right mind would split up after putting on a show that was so energetic, entertaining and generally awe-inspiring that I’d happily watch them play for as long as it’s possible to rock out to fight pop without dying of exhaustion?’

The whole experience was just an absolute pleasure to be a part of. The fairly spacious venue was packed full of enthusiastic fans eager to give their devotees a memorable send-off, and from the moment a man doing a surprisingly good impression of Gollum from Lord of the Rings took to the stage to whimsically introduce the band, you really got the feeling that Dananananaykroyd’s main intention was for everyone to have as much fun as possible over the course of the next hour or so. The dual frontmen, Calum Gunn and John Baillie Junior, pranced to and fro like feral sprites with microphones; their soaring, searing voices doing battle with the crowd, who shouted every word back at them.

The absence of a security barrier between the band and the sea of people allowed the duo to interact with the crowd more than pretty much anyone I’ve ever seen. The distinction between band and crowd was blurred beyond recognition, as band members climbed off the stage and danced with fans, or stage-dived, and mere mortals overflowed on to the stage (albeit to the band’s moderate displeasure) and, for a few glorious seconds, became a part of Dananananaykroyd before being pushed back into the living mass below by one of the actual band members.

The wall of cuddles was one particular experience that I won’t soon forget. It was essentially the band’s own take on the wall of death – rather than kicking the crap out of each other when the two walls of people collide, they were told to hug. It’s quite the spectacle watching an entire room of strangers simultaneously hugging to the music of Dananananaykroyd; if you ever get the chance to see it, or take part in it (the sad thing is that you almost definitely won’t), I’d recommend it.

Musically, everything was virtually flawless. In fact, it all sounds far better live than on record, and it doesn’t sound too bad then either. The frontmen really were on top form, and when they weren’t sharing their beer with the people in the front row or shaking countless hands, they were hammering out their shared vocals with heaps of gusto. A variety of songs from over the years were played and all were very well received, but some of the more prominent songs, including ‘Black Wax’, ‘Watch This!’ and ‘Muscle Memory’ went down particularly well.

Dananananaykroyd utterly brought the house down. It’s immensely unfortunate that a band often hailed as one of the best live bands in the world has been rendered unable to grow any further because of circumstances out of their control. ‘It makes sense to go out with a bang – which is exactly what this tour will be’, said the band’s final press release. If this is a bang, then an atomic bomb is just a spark in comparison.


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