Live: Justice @ Academy 1
By Joe Goggins
13th February 2012
Officially speaking, Justice’s debut record, released back in 2007, is untitled; only a glowing, neon version of the band’s trademark cross symbol adorns the album’s sleeve. That it duly became known as † (or alternatively, Cross) was fitting. With that release, the French duo became the first dance act since their countrymen Daft Punk to successfully cross over into the world of indie rock and if the amount of skinny jeans on show amongst tonight’s audience is anything to go by, it’s a section of their fanbase they’ve retained.
Taking the stage on a raised platform behind the obligatory giant cross and flanked by two striking walls of Marshall amps, the pair choose to frontload their set with new material from sophomore release Audio, Video, Disco, opening with lead single ‘Civilisation’, which is later worked into a number of tracks as a coda. As with most dance acts, the set is seamless and it’s to the band’s credit that when the poppier big hitters inevitably arrive later on – ‘Waters of Nazareth’, ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ and the commercially-successful Simian Mobile Disco collaboration ‘We Are Your Friends’ – they don’t sound at all out of place next to offerings more deeply rooted in the dance genre.
Whilst there’s no problem as far as crowd response is concerned – the sell-out crowd is worked into a ninety-minute fervour – it’s impossible not to raise questions about how ‘live’ a performance from two men with computers and decks really is, particularly for those in the crowd more accustomed to guitars and live drums. Whilst the light-show – glowing red amps included – is formidable for a venue of this size, it’s hard to shake the feeling that, as entertaining as the evening is, the ‘Justice Live!’ tag might be a tad off the mark.