Sometimes music does what it’s meant to do, which is to provoke a pure insensate joy that swells up in you and breaks its banks. Sometimes music is simply the river of life in full roaring flood. Sometimes music seems effortless and obvious and heart-wrenching and a thing of wonder all at the same time. Sometimes a kid barely out of high school can carry a pain in him that should by rights have taken a lifetime to gather up. Sometimes music works, and is just right, and is wondrous.
It’s tricky putting into words why The Districts are such a brilliant band. I think they would be hard pushed to define why themselves. In the same way that they rock up on stage wearing clothes that look like what they slept in, they just get up and play, and play as if their lives depend on it, and possibly ours too.
The Districts got up on stage in Privatclub last night and unassumedly plugged their guitars and things in and then proceeded to give it some serious welly. From the beginning to the end of the show they were in full flow, not letting up, the singer who looks like it was only five minutes ago that he was the fat kid on the playground letting rip as if it was this or another Columbine, howling about the smell of the suburbs and rich kids laughing at retards. They’re Americana’s answer to the Arctic Monkeys: Young, intelligent, prolific, angry and in full possession of their rock and roll faculties.
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Art is about anger, and about release. Anger always carries love within it, but it’s love that has been fucked with and twisted out of recognition. Art is about having a uniqueness of voice that is at once identifiable to everyone. What are we angry about? What have we lost? What do we hope against hope to regain? And why do a bunch of 20 year olds seem to be familiar with the question, if not perhaps the answer?
Review by Noel Maurice, author of The Berlin Diaries
Pictures by Louise Devlin
If you’re interested in buying the Districts album we get a little money if you do it through the link here. Thanks!
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.