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A sample-free Daft Punk cover band were the unexpected highlight of Wilderness Festival

 

It’s always tough going head to head with the headline act on the Saturday night of a festival. Particularly when both bands give the audience little choice but to get vibey. At Wilderness, the choice is between Bonobo on the Main Stage, and ‘Introducing Live: Daft Punk Reimagined’, a cover set, under some bunting elsewhere. It’s getting chilly and I need to throw some mad shapes. Fake Daft Punk it is.

There is no flamboyant entrance at an Introducing Live gig. The ensemble look a bit like your dad’s garage band stumbling out of a nearby village pub music night. As they’re due to start, they finish up the sound check and shrug. “Let’s just get started then. We’re going to play some Daft Punk,” announces the frontman. “Does everyone here like Daft Punk? Because if you don’t like Daft Punk, you’re definitely in the wrong place.”

After the underwhelming entrance, it’s a little surprising when the band open with a 100% perfect cover version of ‘One More Time’. The five piece do not look like your typical rock stars. There is one Daft Punk helmet occasionally passed around the band, and Daft Punk music videos on the projector. Close your eyes to the Jeremy Clarkson jeans, throw in some helmets, and you’d really believe you were watching the real thing. Thank god, Introducing Live are not trying to be Daft Punk; rather, they’re a bunch of slightly nerdy dudes who love Daft Punk, and want to spread the Robot Rock as far and wide as possible.

Unlike the mysterious actual Daft Punk, a duo who take themselves a little seriously under those helmets, these geeky audiophiles have no such pretensions about playing around with the robot instruments onstage. “DO YOU LIKE WHAT THIS MICROPHONE DOES” says the frontman into the flat robot vocoder. “ROOOBOT. ROOOBOT ROOOCKK. THANK YOU.”

At this point, I realise an Introducing Live gig might be better than seeing the real thing. The dad rockers’ social interaction injects some serious charm into the faceless robot band they’re covering. They humanise the duo with blistering guitar solos and audience participation. “‘Discovery’ – now with 20 percent more Brian May,” explains the frontman. During ‘Technologic’, one fan hurtles himself towards the front and attempts to jump onstage. “Wow, our first stage invasion! We’re a real band now!” he shouts into the mic.

There are some definite advantages to seeing a cover band perform. During ‘Crescendolls’, it’s the Wilderness crowd, possibly even David Cameron himself, providing the crowd sample at the heart of the track. “Excellent audience participation. Thank you, everybody!” As I listen to the band performing ‘Something About Us’, I wonder whether the real Daft Punk would give us such high praise.

So no, you may never get to see Daft Punk perform live ever again. But if you fancy a bit of a laugh in a field with some other superfans, Introducing Live are as close to the real thing as a group of humans can be. Bring your own vocoder.

The post You may never see Daft Punk live, but don’t worry – this cover band are even better than the real thing appeared first on NME.

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