Live Reviews

Justice – Live

Bristol Academy

Photo © Cesar Sebastian

I can shout.

The day was Sunday. For many this particular day of the week is one to be spent in a serene state of rest; at ease from the world and its bulging pocket full of adversity. Some may wish to spend a little extra on newspapers so they can read those escapist stories, with photos of beautiful people that are printed on the slightly shinier paper. Then sit around achieving nothing except the silent cries of joy from everyone’s taste buds as they relentlessly gorge upon little molecules of tea, and enormous morsels of a roast dinner, all encouraged by whatever lazy sod is in control of the fork. Yes, the Sabbath is a very strange day indeed. Normally associated with colours such as yellow, or overjoyed dandelion, if we’re talking Strictly Come Dulux.

I said I can shout.

So, on this holy day, I rested. By rested, I of course mean that I wiggled my way across the beer stained floors of Bristol Academy, being furiously squashed by people with interesting tee shirts, being blinded by a shining white pair of perpendicular lines, surrounded by the glittering lights of electronic heavens and having my ears pierced by bass loud enough to create a rift in time, all the while lifting my skinny fists up high, towards two nodding graphic designers from a snail devouring tribe across some body of water, who as masters of puppets, yanked on the strings of our limbs and made us dance militantly to soul crushing beats. The day was Sunday, and I fucking rested.

You don’t have to shout at me.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen those French wizards play. So based on previous encounters alone, my hopes were painfully high. Surely there was only a limited number of ways in which these songs can be mixed together? As the crowd hush and the opening roar of the most aptly titled track in the world, Genesis fights its way out from beneath those stacked Marshall speakers, it brought with it an overwhelming aura of deja-vu. Then, in a total nonchalant, ‘oh, what just happened‘ fashion, Gaspard Auge and Xavier De Check-Out-How-Fucking-Badass-My-Name-Is-And-Chill mutilate the already dislocated basslines into something you couldn’t even fathom, let alone expect to sound as powerfully good as it did. With the purring introduction of Phantom creeping in at every other bar, the crowd’s momentum levels were filling up like an energy drink induced Brandon Biebel. And at that precise moment, you know the one, where that funky riff comes in that makes you punch your fist, at this exact moment, the sound is lost. Poof. Gone. Vanished. Just like anyone’s credibility when they mention Scientology.

OK, well stop making me then-

Everyone in the crowd is now totally flaccid. This sort of thing should never, ever happen. For the first time ever, I think a hint of worry was evident in the eyes of Justice, yet that prominent cross was still shining away, like some extended metaphor for hope, or something. Piercing through the tension, ever so slowly, was the unmistakable riff I was talking about, but not in a way that makes you punch your fist, no, no. More of a way of, ever-so-gently turning everyone’s smile into that of an ecstasy fuelled Cheshire cat. And when the Phantom finally does reveal itself in all its bass-so-good-I-just-shat-myself glory, well, I think I just explained it, didn’t I? Redemption was achieved, and the crowd were now at the mercy of two DJs, and whatever noises emerged from those speakers.

I’m getting louder with you.

I could go into detail about every perfect pick ‘n’ mix made on this Sabbath night, but I’m sure you’ll grow weary of that, and lets face it, can my nose actually get any browner while writing this review? It’s a case of Pinocchio gone tits up here. Basically (yeah), this set was truly mind blowing. With every tour, these two hopefuls are maturing into the biggest dance music pioneers this side of the millennium, and that’s a very safe statement to make. To even consider slowing down the Waters of Nazareth, practically separating them in some mad Exodus re-enactment, and then blasting the vocoded bliss of The Fallen remix over the top is a decision that surely only mentally unstable people could make. Yet to do it without batting an eyelid, simultaneously sucking on a huge ‘Fuck you smoking ban, I can do whatever the fuck I like‘ statement, and actually make Bristol architecture shake and bounce, bounce, bounce that ass, then let them do it. Two encores wasn’t nearly enough. Stadium tours in no time, surely.

This is the excuse; let these puppet masters raise your skinny fists like antennas to whatever is really up there beyond those glittering skies. It’s worth whatever you’re paying.

Joe Moynihan