Ah, 2008. The year that quite frankly, I can’t relate to because I was only 9, but still … ah, 2008. I always look back at the ’00s as the golden age of indie rock, with the seemingly endless number of bands paraded in skinny jeans, launching out generic guitar riffs, and ripping off other bands – but in amongst that riot lies Cajun Dance Party. Formed as a result of other incarnations, the band’s bassist Max Bloom cites it as “more of an after school club”, and it’s easy to see why, considering they were all sixth-formers when they were recording their rather brilliant debut album.
9 years on, and The Colourful Life remains the only album of the North London 5-piece; filled with angst-ridden lyrics, and speaking to a whole league of outcasts (take tracks like ‘No Joanna’, for example), the 9 track long LP holds its own as one of the most quintessentially teenage albums of the ’00s. With numbers like ‘Amylase’, which could easily be mistaken for a GCSE Biology revision song, and then the bursting optimism on the impeccably nostalgic album opener ‘The Colourful Life’, Cajun Dance Party nailed the essence of youth and all the emotions that come with it … even if it was all a bit too conceited at times. Of course, with their young age, the band propelled into fiery live shows, and their track ‘The Next Untouchable’ showcased their zeal, sharpness and energy (and has one of the slickest riffs I’ve ever heard on it). Tenderness is synonymous with The Colourful Life, being completely encapsulated in introspective lyricism, and complete innocence.
Fast forward to the summer of 2008, and Cajun Dance Party had made their way to the NME/Radio 1 tent at Reading & Leeds Festival, Glastonbury, Oxegen and a whole host of other weekenders. But, as always, good things can’t last, and the band disbanded in 2009 with 2 members branching off and setting up their own band, Yuck, and leaving behind 9 tracks to remember them by.
Nonetheless, Cajun Dance Party remain essential listening – tapping into all the extremes of emotion, their stand-alone album is nostalgic, it’s romantic, and it’s beautifully constructed.
Words by Jasmin Robinson