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Dance, You're on Fire!

Secret Chiefs

by Devon Straticzuk, images by Tom Revington / 11.03.2011

It’s Saturday night, a few lady friends and I are at Town Hall in Newtown. Dance, You’re on Fire are playing and that’s pretty much all you need to know. It’s their album launch, we head for the bar. A lady DJ is getting people, all hip and luminous, up and dancing. A guy with big muscles and a purple tank top is hitting on everyone. I feel under-dressed. After a nice chat with an old shaggy haired friend, the lights dim, and Dance, You’re on Fire start.

They kick off with “Little War” an extremely catchy, lively song and the Hall is almost instantly too hot to handle. The band rips through a series of tight energetic numbers and you can’t help but dance. The set flows. Technically they’re quite brilliant, a unit with a big aggressive drum sound. No rest for the crowd, leaving me wishing I had been hit in the face by one of the free T-Shirts.

Dance, You're on Fire!

Dance, You’re on Fire aren’t exactly pushing any boundaries by way of experimental sound or ambitious lyrical content. Their music is laced with sonic nods to bands like Coheed and Cambria, Panic! at the Disco and The Used. I detect similarities between Tom Manners’ vocals from Dance and Brendan Urie’s from Panic!. But they’re good, a good band, and I love Coheed and Cambria. So does Tom as it turns out when I ask him after. I’m not complaining. They can even be an excellent band in songs like “Blockade” and “Killing Time”. I almost jump out of my pants at how well they play “Oh, Love” tonight. The lead guitar and solo bits make me smile like a kid in love for the first time.

Dance, You’re on Fire may not have a unique sound globally, but here in South Africa they offer something different enough from many other (more successful) bands. I guess you can say they’ve owned their theft, and for that I have nothing but praise.

Dance, You're on Fire!

After Dance finished up the girls and I, and what looks like the whole club, gather outside for a bit of fresh air. “Oh look! A pretty girl,” I say like I’m surprised. My very drunk friend and I laugh too loud and we both earn the stink eye from her, like she literally wanted us to self-combust.

Back inside, Double Adaptor are about to start up. What happens is two guys stand behind laptops playing hardcore electro while people break into dancing fits like seizures. I don’t get it at all but I’m drunk and I’m having fun. And so is the horny giant in the tank top from earlier. In fact he’s now up on stage and nobody is big enough to stop him.

Double Adaptor

The rest of the night goes by like cigarette smoke, bright lights and bass wobble, and I think I owe someone R100 for the Dance, You’re on Fire CD. It’s called Secret Chiefs, and is excellent in places It’s out now, and you should buy it. Sorry Germany, Switzerland and Austria – you’ll have to wait until June.

Dance You're On Fire

Dance You're On Fire

Double Adaptor

Dance You're On Fire - Secret Chiefs

*Images © Tom Revington.

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RESPONSES (18)
  1. lame nut says:

    Coheed And Cambria – yuck. Are “Double Adaptor” bisexual?

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  2. dudie says:

    secret chiefs is such an overused term.
    there is also a band called secret chiefs 3 (sc3) with the guitarist from mr. bungle …
    why dont bands do some research before their name their albums?

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  3. Peter says:

    So just because someone has used a term before it means it can never be used again?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    What an amaizing artical and a very talented writer!!!! 🙂

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  5. Lu says:

    You owe me R100.

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  6. Devon says:

    Send me your banking details lu

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  7. Lu says:

    Will do, and if you know anyone else that needs a good suck let me know 😉

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  8. dudie says:

    @ peter. i know it doesent – but bands can try be a little more original. there are enough concepts out there to keep it fresh. secret chiefs, my ass.

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  9. Peter says:

    @dudie

    Cool, I guess we no one should ever write another love song!

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  10. Pete guy says:

    When I watch this band I feel like they could be doing so much more than pop-rock.

    I actually saw them a few years ago playing with Tonight We Die and they killed. I bought their self titled EP and thought It was pretty phenomenal. Totally different sound, and I understand there have even been line-up changes. Pity they had to water their sound down to the lowest common denominator to achieve any sort of mainstream recognition.

    Oh well.

    Still, talented musicians and solid song writing makes them an above average local band in my books.

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  11. grinch says:

    Double Adapter… psycho band
    awesome stage appearance
    but wow
    do my ears bleed

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  12. Anonymous says:

    So, you can actually write!! Bonita

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  13. Devon says:

    Apparently.

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  14. dudie says:

    @ peter. no. no one should write a love song ever again. i dont ever want to hear about your girl friend, please spare me the anxiety. its time to progress ideas, instead of singing about instinct. plus, i dont really get your argument, i was talking about band/album names – not content.

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  15. that dude says:

    really good read dev, you’ve made me read it a dozen times but its more official now that ive commented on it !

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  16. Devon says:

    Who is that dude? I’m glad you liked it man/woman!

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  17. Natasha says:

    @ dudie. hey man, you should ask one of the guys in the band about the album title, they actually have a good reason for giving it that name. 😉
    Cool article Devon!

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  18. Frankles says:

    i went ans saw them in EL based on Dev’s opinion!

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