Diagon Alley

Band: Diagon Alley
Website: Myspace

At this year’s Wrockstock, a new band played: Diagon Alley. A number of people had never heard of the band and were simply curious who they were in advance of the show. A few people had heard of the band and were intrigued by the idea of seeing them play live. Some lucky number had seen them perform locally or at events like Wrock the Boat. As for me, I had discovered Diagon Alley about 18 months ago and had been dying to see them perform live from that moment on.

Needless to say, my expectations were extremely high when I walked into the Room of Wrockquirement (the main stage at Wrockstock) preparing to see them perform. Now, this is a band with all the pieces you’d expect, but with the addition of a violin and one of the wildest live shows I’ve had the opportunity of attending. Like I mentioned, I had some seriously high expectations, but I can tell you one thing – when the set was over and I was exhausted and sweaty from wrocking out like no one’s business – I was not remotely disappointed.

I’ll be honest on this, any rock band with a violin, cello, or similar instrument has already stolen my heart. I love the feeling it adds to the music, the surprise it causes in some listeners (especially when I get to watch someone notice the instrument for the first time when listening to a band I enjoy). So the fact that Diagon Alley rocks a violin on a regular basis and bagpipes on occasion simply endears them to me to no end.

However, I can’t say that it is only as a result of the composition of their band that made the performance so dang amazing. You see, there are some bands who get up on stage, rock their music, the crowd will respond positively, and that’s that. But Diagon Alley totally owned the audience during their set. They took control of the stage and slayed us with radness. After listening to their music for so long and wanting little more than to see them live, I admit I was ready for the inevitable domination, but I can’t say the same for everyone in the audience.

So onto the music of Diagon Alley. It is very punk rock-inspired, filling any room it is being played in with glory and richness. The very first song of theirs I had listened to was the song named for their band, ‘Diagon Alley’. In fact, I had the song in my iTunes at one point before I became a huge fan. I remember sitting around, listening to music as I was doing some work or other, having a pretty solidly crappy day. Suddenly, without realizing it, I found myself smiling and rocking out a bit. That’s when I first started focusing actively on what I was listening to and discovered that Diagon Alley is so amazing. Their musical style is exactly what I love, exactly what brings me joy and perks up an otherwise lame day.

I rank Diagon Alley along with some well-known Muggle (non-Wizard Rock) bands that I have enjoyed for years. If you enjoy Muse, Cursive, Flogging Molly, or other similar bands, I suggest you pick up Pop Songs For Muggles from Diagon Alley and take some time to send me an email thanking me for telling you to do as such. Seriously.

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12 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day.

13 Comments

  1. Matthew replied:

    I rather think I shall have to listen to this band! Sounds right up my street.

  2. Ariel replied:

    I was one of those surprised by their awesomeness. I was prepared to sit outside and just listen… but then… well.. then I had to go dance like a lunatic for the next hour. They were spectacular!

  3. Hope replied:

    YES YES YES! I had never heard them before Wrockstock and now I can’t get enough of them. Great pick Dinah!

  4. Myrtle Dyes Her Hair replied:

    K.
    πŸ™‚

  5. Abby replied:

    AH! I love Diagon Alley… I’ve got to be their number one fan other than their mom’s and girlfriends!!
    I just want to point something out that you overlooked, only because this is “the thing” that endeared me to DA in the first place…
    They are not just punk. (In fact, they’re not really punk at all, if you ask this kid who actually was a punk rocker in the 80’s) but more hard rock meets eastern european folk.
    That 1-2-3 “hook” in Olivander’s comes straight from Russian and Polish folk music. Many, many of their songs feature a chord progression or some kind of musical twist that’s reminiscent of Polish, German, Czech and Russian folk music. How did I pick up on all of this and why does it matter so much that I felt the need to blab it all over the Wrocket? My grandparents were Russian immigrants who settled in Chicago before my dad was born. This is the music of my ancestry mixed with the hard-rockin’ modern stuff that I love and it makes me GO CRAZY! Seeing a band tap into their ancestral musical style (Hello, Mr. Cukjati)and ramp it up for a modern audience… that’s genius and I’m not afraid to say it out loud!
    I LOVE DIAGON ALLEY!
    πŸ˜€

    • Team Wrocket replied:

      Thanks for the extra history, Abby! That was a style that I could hear, but certainly couldn’t place. It’s such an amazing sound and I’m glad to get to know a bit more of the background on it. Oh the things you can learn from starting a blog like this! πŸ˜‰ Not least from my research, but from the readers as well!

      • Abby replied:

        Oh, yeah… my music geekiness knows NO bounds!!!
        I really hope that didn’t come off as too Hermoine-ish… I just REALLY love that band and the layers upon layers their music has. πŸ˜€

  6. Andrew replied:

    I remembered seeing Abby post on the WS forums that she thought the best thing someone could do when preparing to see Diagon Alley for the first time was to actually avoid listening to them so you could come in with no preconceived notions and be taken by complete surprise, so that was what I did. And I was not disappointed.

    As soon as I saw the violin I thought of Flogging Molly, and damn that comparison is valid. Me and two other guys ended up moshing during their set. So awesome.

    And it was capped off by the cover of one of my favourite songs of all time, Muse’s ‘Hysteria’. Incredible.

    • Team Wrocket replied:

      I was wondering who that was over there moshing! I was just too far away to get in on it with you. I definitely thought about it, but decided to stay where I was and just enjoy the music and dancing!

  7. Sally Slytherin replied:

    I remember at Wrockstock 2 when the Chicago wizards were handing out free demos of Diagon Alley, and I thought, “Whatever, if they’re free they can’t be any good.”
    Boy was I wrong?
    Who knew that at the next Wrockstock they would be one of the msot memorable performances?
    Diagon Alley continues to melt my face off.

  8. Raenwen replied:

    Diagon Alley totally took me by surprise, being one of the many who hadn’t heard their music prior to Wrockstock. They are so lively and had such a wonderful stage presence! I was undeniably entranced! The music was so estranged from what I normally hear in wizard rock, and I loved it. And I agreed with Sally, they are one the most memorable performances! Viva la Violin solos!

  9. Shannon replied:

    The first time I’d ever heard of them and also seen them live was at Wrock Wreggies durning Terminus last August. I was glad to get to see them again at Wrockstock! πŸ˜€

  10. Zoe Glatt replied:

    Diagon Alley wrocked the house DOWN!!

    They were my all time favourites, and just genuinely really nice people. Luckily for me, I got to stay at Nigel’s for the rest of the week! And they played a great gig with Dreary Inferi, Matt and JFF on Tuesday night.

    Great band!

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