Buttoned Down Disco is a phenomenon that's been going for a couple of years now, you join a mailing list, they tell you where and when the next party is and people turn up and rejoice to a funky mix of indie, cheese, pop, and everything in between. Buttoned Down Liveshow is a monthly event, sort of like the Disco's younger sister. 4 bands and an all night barbecue for £5. It's great!
We were invited along to watch Dragonette, fresh from supporting the Sugababes on tour, headline at Brick Lane's lovely 93 Ft East. Dragonette have been around a couple of years now. Lead singer Martina and bassist/guitarist/keyboard player Dan met at a festival and decided that they were bored with their respective music styles and wanted to try something different. Plus they kinda liked each other and got married. They wrote some songs and got them some gigs. Some very big gigs. Their second ever show was supporting New Order in NYC ("A terrible band fronted by a slut wearing panties and singing songs about sex and Jesus", wrote one slightly underwhelmed blogger) and to follow they managed to get the gig supporting Duran Duran on the US leg of their tour. Allegedly because Martina got on stage, looked at everyone sat on the benches and shouted "Who do I have to fuck to get you to dance?".
They moved to London where they acquired a guitarist, Will to add to their drummer, Joel and set about perfecting their sound. And Martina accidentally became a popstar, writing and singing lead vocals on Basement Jaxx's "Take me back to your house".
They have a tremendous energy on stage and a very 80s dress sense, Will in a white suit and tie, Martina with big hair and beads. And whilst they're a lot less electronic on stage than recorded, the songs still work fine. Their songs are bouncy and fun, reminiscent of 80s Texas, Roxette, bouncy electronica, which made them Popjustice's number one act to look out for in 2007.
The crowd loved them, their stage presence is amazing. Will bouncing about whilst hammering his guitar, Dan a little more laid back on bass and BVs. Martina's expressiveness and wild gesticulation as she sings. The songs are catchy - "Take it Like a Man" is a bouncy pop anthem while their latest single "I Get Around" is laid back electronica which faintly reminds of early Goldfrapp until we reach the pure pop of the guitar laden chorus. It's a real shame that this didn't do better than #92 in the charts when released.
Words & photo by Scott Van Looy