After Vinyl Williams finished their set I felt like I was coming down from as many illicit drugs as you can imagine. It’s hard to put into words how a 22 year old can play a set like Jerry Garcia on mescaline, but I’ll try. Lionel Williams is the leader of Vinyl Williams and I’m pretty sure at 22 I hadn’t accomplished anything at all and yet this guy got up there with what looked like a shirt from 1967 and played the shit out of an Independent crowd that was surprised by this band of dreamers. “Space Rockit” was my favorite song of the set and really showed the kind of talent this band has. I’m eager to see what they do in the next chapter of their careers, because it is off to a stellar start.
As Django Django came to the stage they did a slight bow and then jumped into it. They certainly weren’t the most exciting band, as there were no histrionics, but to a certain extent it was refreshing. They let the music do the talking and it talked volumes. This band fused with a Scot, an Irishman and a Brit were so in sync and looked like they were enjoying themselves in San Francisco, the first time they’d ever been here. Touring America for the first time as well, they spoke to how much more beautiful San Francisco was than L.A. and I took it to be tongue in cheek as I’m sure it was intended, but there was no denying the genuine affection this band held for this city.
When they neared the end of their set, they turned to the song that has garnered them the most attention and filled the Independent on a Tuesday night, a rare feat. “Default” is such a 1980’s sounding track, but I also find it to be quintessentially modern considering how much music is reverting backwards recently. They played it and the crowd sang and danced and at that moment all was right with the world. As I left the Independent to face the cold San Franciscan night I felt my life was a little better for having seen a cool band from across the pond and so was everyone else’s.