Advice After Tooth Extractions:

1. Take painkillers as soon as possible and before local anaesthetic wears off, and thereafter as necessary for the pain.


2. Avoid rinsing out your mouth or disturbing the extraction socket for the first 24 hours, so as not to upset the natural blood clot forming, which initiates healing.


3. Avoid exercise for the rest of the day.

Would love to, thank you.

4. Do not drink anything alcoholic for the first 24 hours.

Ah. Oh dear.

5. Probably don’t go out to a Django Django gig and get altogether wonky with a cocktail of booze, Xmas cheer, painkillers and infectious grooves.


Still, a promise is a promise and you can’t let the good people at Silent Radio down, so it is with some bogginess of body, and bagginess of the mind that I set off down Chanel catwalk (previously known as Thomas Street) towards New Century Hall.

Part of the mission is to see the venue for first time. Or rather… hear it. I have heard good things about the place, and notably the quality of the sound system, and indeed New Century Hall doesn’t disappoint. The bar is accessible (even if inadvisable, according to the lovely Ghanian gentleman who yanked out a back tooth only a few hours previously), and the square function room-style space fills out to about half full.

We arrive towards the end of the support act Low Island, soon followed by Django Django; by turns, eclectic and energetic. Coming on with the track ‘Spirals’, every subsequent song seems to be a different vibe, and to come from a different musical dimension, as though this is a band trying on different shirts with each track of the set-list. Just when you feel you’ve got a handle on the band, and their perhaps 80s influenced electronica, and dub-inflected groove… an acoustic guitar comes out and – yikes – even a harmonica… and the music goes entirely elsewhere. Unless that is just me and my rapidly discombobulating psyche?

For a 4-piece they make quite a wonderful racket – a warm and enveloping sound – the crowd a real rum mix of ages and persuasions. The drums are tight and precise, and the three out front on keys, guitar/vocals and bass all have the same white clothing on, as though they might start decorating the room as well as entertaining it. Then the front three (minus the drummer) huddle around keyboards as though seditious witches concocting some fiery potion to intoxicate the floor. They interchange, and shape- shift. Bass player Jimmy Dixon hands his bass to singer Vincent Neff as though suddenly a roadie. Then Neff takes over on bass, with bass runs funkier than my Aunty Mabel knocking back the Xmas sherry.

Tracks like ‘First Light’, ‘Somebody’s Reality’ and ‘Waveforms’ topple out over the crowd. At first I’m not entirely sold on the band live, compared to their recorded output until they really crank things up towards the end of the set, with much more electronic, dance-y cuts. Maybe it’s because myself and my disco compadre for the evening move towards the front at that point but it just feels like the band were merely Django… but then upped the Djangos so that they are registering up to two… maybe even three… Djangos on the Rock-ter Scale by the end of the night. It’s as though the band were their own warm-up, cranking things up so that this gig of two halves ends up in a near rave, tracks like ‘Slipstream’ and ‘Default’ really pushing those present in the hall into a new century.

DD also slip a couple of interesting covers in the stream… an intriguing take on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ by The Beatles and Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’, although this is a band from around the UK rather than around the world – two Scots, a Yorkshireman and a lead singer from Northern Ireland, perhaps adding to a north- of-the-border Belle & Sebastian vibe at times.

Tracks come from this year’s latest release Off Planet, including ‘Golden Cross’, ‘Dumdrum’ and ‘Black Cadillac’ (although not the fab collaboration with Self Esteem, ‘Complete Me’). When the band come back on stage for a one-track encore, that’s an older one – ‘Champagne’ – from the 2018 album Marble Skies. Another of Aunty Mabel’s phat basslines slips under a track that’s a little New Order Mancunian, a little Working Men’s Club.

Naturally, ‘Champagne’ is always a great way to end any night, vibes popping like corks as the revellers make their way back into the cold of a mid-December Mancunian night, without a finger-deficient jazz guitarist in sight.


Simon is a writer, broadcaster and countercultural investigator. Over the last 15 years he has written for everyone from The Guardian to Loaded magazine, presented television for Rapture TV and hosted radio programs for the likes of Galaxy. He has also found time to earn a Masters Degree in Novel Writing and write three books (a collection of journalism, a guidebook to Ibiza and one on financial planning for young people – the most varied publishing career it’s possible to have) and establish and run a PR company, Pad Communications, looking after a range of leisure and lifestyle clients.He currently splits his time between researching his PhD at Leeds University, looking into various countercultural movements; consulting freelance for PR clients; writing for the likes of Marie Claire in Australia, The Big Issue and the Manchester Evening News, where he reviews concerts, theatre and is their Pub & Bar Editor. He is also broadcaster, appearing regularly on Tony Livesey’s late night 5Live show for the BBC, and also for BBC Radio Manchester Gourmet Night food and drink show.Simon’s main focus has been music and travel. His career has included editing Ministry of Sound’s magazine in Ibiza for two summers and also writing two long-running columns for DJmagazine – ”Around The World in 80 Clubs” (which took him everywhere from Beijing to Brazil, Moscow to Marrakech) and “Dispatches From The Wrong Side”. A collection of the latter was published in the UK and US as the book Discombobulated, including tales as varied as gatecrashing Kylie Minogue’s birthday party, getting deported from Russia, having a gun held to his head by celebrity gangster Dave Courtney and going raving in Ibiza with Judith Chalmers. He has recently written for the likes of Red magazine, Hotline, Clash, Tilllate, Shortlist and the Manchester Evening News. Pad Communications has recently consulted for clients as varied as Manchester nightclubs and New Zealand toy companies.On a personal note, Simon is a Londoner who left the capital at the age of 18 and never looked back. He sees himself as a citizen of the global dancefloor having lived in Sydney, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Amsterdam. However his life is now rather more sedentary. After all his adventures he bumped into and subsequently married his highschool sweetheart from their North London Grammar. They now live in Stockport with their four children and four chickens, trying to live the good life. Simon recently turned 40 and is steadfastly refusing to have a midlife crisis – as in, growing a ponytail and buying a shiny red sports car.OK, maybe he’ll buy the sports car…