Underworld, London - 11/04/2008
Danava emerge on stage early, far too early to really conjure any atmosphere of hedonistic nefariousness.
I imagine their superlative 70s-worshipping riff-rock could be, in a later, more confused context, a far a more cosmic revelatory sex-music journey than just very, very enjoyable.
This being 2008 there isn’t even a whiff of dodgy north London skunk in the air as they get going, and it’s left to their razor-sharp playing to get us off. And there is smiling and nodding a-plenty as they reel off a few songs from their joyous recent Kemado offering, ’Unonou’.
In comparison to the forthcoming sets from Gentleman’s Pistols and Witchcraft, Danava blow the stage up by being unassuming, and getting on with the job, which is to set the rock free.
Diminutive but commanding front man Dusty Sparkles (Yes!) is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen, and I’m not particularly classic rock orientated. He just combines heavy riffing a la Spirit Caravan with something more light-hearted and folky, and everything he plays is perfect. You could play this stuff to aliens to persuade them that hitting skins and metal wires for fun was a good and life-fulfilling thing to do with your time. While this set is only a brief glimpse of what they can do, it’s almost more tantalising because of it, as the drummer slaps away in the most up-down, un-’dynamic’ way possible, it remains totally enthralling. Yes it’s like Sabbath, like Hawkwind, even like 70s glam rock, but it almost transcends all of that in places. Really, I’m not kidding.
Just near the end of their short but sweet set, they unleash Where Beauty and Terror Dance. This is their perfect stoner-pop classic in the making - all direct riffing and Ozzy whine vocals. It’s amazing no one else is really doing this straight up rock approach to this stuff, this well.
It features a perfect three-keyboard ending which just makes you float away, it’s classical and it’s modern and it’s the 70s and all that crap just done better. This band should be gigantic and they will be just as fabulous when they are.