Justice | Live Review

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“A rack of Marshall amps I scoffed about not being plugged in to anything suddenly light up to form a huge video display…”

Over the past few hundred years the French have given us many things. They provided us with a bafflingly large selection of foul smelling dairy products, aptly introduced words like abandon, quit and surrender into our language and even let Walt Disney gain a posthumous stranglehold on Europe.

As far as I’m concerned all of these things pale in comparison to the glorious gift they bestowed upon the world in 1996.

The release of Daft Punk’s first album Homework was a catalyst for a French dance music scene that was up until that point fairly insular. Their manager Pedro ‘Busy P’ Winter was the man who capitalised on the boom, and after managing everyone under the sun went on to form the now worldwide phenomenon that is Ed Banger records.

Ed Banger’s second release was the infamous Never Be Alone by a couple of Parisian remix competition winners calling themselves Justice.

And the rest, as they say, is your mother’s brother.

Considering the worldwide phenomenon that was their 2007 debut album ‘†’, Justice haven’t really been hogging the limelight of late and they’d be forgiven for misplacing their enthusiasm like we’d be excused for feigning ours.

The sheer amount of makeshift, glow stick crucifixes on show at Bristol’s o2 Academy showed otherwise. Sporadic shouts of “Justice” reminded me of that horribly messy court case my uncle had to endure recently and when the sea of people below me started jumping and swaying I thought someone had slipped me a Mickey.

From the opening gambit of ‘Genesis’ you knew it was going to be big. The massive synth laden orchestra of it’s intro ringing out like a giant mechanised Godzilla was preparing to terrorise the room. After an almost mandatory hiatus of the drop a truly epic light display lit up a thousand beaming grins and the ground started shaking under the whim of two thousand ecstatic feet.

Tracks like ‘Stress’ and Justice’s own remix of ‘D.A.N.C.E’ went off like a block of Camembert left in the sun, and the football chant accompaniment to ‘Phantom Pt. 2’s bass line was just glorious.

The music being a given, the highlight of the evening’s entertainment had to be watching  a rack of Marshall amps I scoffed about not being plugged in to anything suddenly light up to form a huge video display with loads and loads of pretty colours on it.

After orchestrating a final, wonderfully shouty chorus of “We are your friends…” as the summation of a twenty minute encore, the pompous facade finally crumbled and the leather clad pair set about shaking hands with their adoring crowd absolutely beaming and genuinely humbled.

It may not have been the biggest gig they’ve played but it had to be one of the warmest receptions.

And although they’ve been off the radar a little as of late, anyone watching a show as monumentally impressive as that will have them at the forefront of their minds for some time.

Cheese, words, Euro Disney, Daft Punk and Justice.

Yeah, I reckon that just about covers it.