Playing five shows around the country, Justice are currently representing the NME Awards Shows in various Academy’s around the UK bringing hoards of people along with them.
Justice are a French electronic duo consisting of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay, currently signed to Ed Banger Records, being active since 2003, with their debut album † dropping in 2007, with their latest album Audio, Video, Disco released in 2011. Crossing between genres of house, electro rock and nu-disco Justice are known for incorporating a strong rock and indie influence into their music and image, which would explain the backing of NME.
A wide and varied audience were present tonight in terms of ages, surprisingly not just a ‘Topman’ fest, but a collection of varied individuals from all walks of life however the audience was 99% male. Feeling less like a concert and more like a club, I would imagine that the profits made from alcoholic beverages would be quite high on an evening like tonight.
In terms of stage setup, on both sides are a high towering fleet of Marshall cabinet stacks which it’s apparent are not functioning but instead a prop to aid towards the stage dressing, with the main bulk of the stage taken up by mixing desks with the now iconic symbol of the Justice cross, which lights and dims throughout the course of the evening. The backdrop is a large screen, complemented well by constructed lighting which is all setup perfectly to create a strong atmosphere and visual spectacular that the music can complement.
Tonight the Academy is typically crammed to bursting point, and prior to the band taking to the stage it does get a little uncomfortable, but the minute the duo take to the stage things seem to loosen up and the audience don’t stop moving.
Musically, tonight as I’m not aware hugely of the house scene, I get the slow impression that all tonight consists of is a beat and samples. But if you were intoxicated or a huge fan, then this would have worked perfectly. Opening with the huge intro of Genesis, the set weaves and raises constantly with everything, including the audience, coming together to create an atmospheric and positive demonstration of musical ability. A wide variety of tracks get sampled within each other, such as We Are Your Friends and Civilisation, acting as a teaser to the moment until that track eventually gets dropped. Each song receives a warm welcome, with D.A.N.C.E proving widely popular, and as the set weaves to an end with Audio, Video, Disco it’s taken that the crowd have got all that they paid for.
Returning for an encore of personal favourite On’n’On and Phantom, Part 2 there’s a euphoric atmosphere that bring the audience and artist to become lost in the moment. As characters, Justice very much let the music do the talking, and fail to speak to the audience within the course of the evening however you never feel like they should, they’re only the controllers to the audio constructions that erupt from the speakers. Acting as an opener for me to the house scene, I’m glad I shared with such a fine specimen as Justice.
Reviewer – Dan Earl
Photographer – Katja Ogrin