Live Review // Japandroids


Dingwalls – 17th July

Holy chafing ball-sweat, Japandroids. Perhaps you are misanthropic, sadistic pricks. Perhaps you’ve not heard of heat exhaustion. Perhaps you didn’t plan for tonight to be the hottest of the year so far. You’ve yet to hit the stage and the floor of Dingwalls is but a pool of communal sweat.  We hate you for this, Japandroids. So, why, Japandroids? Why are we still here?

Your speech after Fire’s Highway about this being your last trip to London on the seemingly endless Celebration Rock tour, “let’s make the last time the best time”, the way a band with double or triple the members of yours could produce no more energy than you do just one song in, the joke about how that was a mere warm-up – that isn’t a joke at all – as you launch into The Boys Are Leaving Town and without breathing room work through to Adrenaline Nightshift, pushing us further than the bleep test-enforcing bastard of a PE teacher who made high school the shitfest that high school so absolutely was.

The set spanning your two short albums and early EPs, the tonsil-tearing screamalong of The Night Of Wine And Roses, the fact you blow the PA at the start of Continuous Thunder (the closest thing to a slow-burner your repertoire has seen), the story of the kid who came up to you earlier and asked you to play the rarely-outed I Quit Girls, the way you told him it probably wouldn’t happen, the way you fucking played it anyway, The fucking House That fucking Heaven fucking Built, the shared insanity, ecstasy and bodily fluids of your audience, the choice of cramped venue sans photo pit barrier, like a forgotten relic of the once-thriving toilet circuit that will cause a lone bouncer to look on in frustration at the stage-diving or crowd-surfing you will so lovingly encourage.

Closing the show with the punk cover For The Love Of Ivy, without a dip in the power you’ve displayed for the past 90 minutes, the way you say goodbye in a manner that’s both badass and humbled and how you don’t ego-trip back onto the stage for a false, laboured encore, how no quantity of Lucozade Sport could replace the lost fluids, the forced empathy one feels with Lady Macbeth as even the longest shower is inadequate to wash off the sweat of tonight, the existence of literally hundreds of rock bands with more technical ability than Japandroids but who somehow possess less than a fraction of your energy, your enthusiasm, your glorious, noisy Canadian charisma, the fair chance there are no two people out of the billions on Earth we’d rather down a couple of beers with and sweat out our vital organs in the presence of, the yelling like hell to the heavens?

That’s why we’re still here, Japandroids. That’s why you’re good.

Jack Urwin


Find Out More: Buy Celebration Rock