Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five

The Assembly, Aberdeen on Saturday 11 November 2017

photos of this show

The Yellow Movement is taking Scotland, not so much by storm, but by a big, peaceful high-fiving, glitter-ball wearing force of personality.

For the uninitiated, the Yellow Movement's abiding principles involve losing your inhibitions, losing your self-consciousness, laughing until you no longer know what it is to hate, releasing your soul, determining your own fate and forgetting the distractions.

Comprising a range of bands in a variety of genres, at the head of this sunshiny sequin-clad unicorn-led charge is the fantastically named Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, a fifteen or so member alternative genre-defying collective who have played gigs and festivals up and down the country – including a sell-out show at Glasgow's legendary Barrowland - and just been announced as one of the acts for nothing less than this year's Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations.

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This was the Glasgow-based band's first gig in Aberdeen. Dubbed Yelloween due to it's proximity to All Hallow's Eve, their fans, the also legendary 6th Dijon, rose to the occasion as always and did them proud. It's not often Aberdeen sees itself invaded by an excited crowd of unicorns, minions, bananas, lollipop ladies and steampunks all in the name of peace, love and mustard.

Many of those who turned out were fully committed members of the 6th Dijon, more than a few had been to the Inverness show the night before, and a fair proportion came along on the strength of the band's monumental and life-affirming performance on the main stage at the Belladrum Tartan Heart festival in August this year which saw 9,000 people crossing the road, bouncing the ball, and high-fiving their neighbours.

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And they weren't disappointed as the Yellow Movement delivered once again, winning over more new fans and ensuring that everyone left with a smile on their faces – even the guy standing at the bar at the back with his arms folded that the Colonel stopped the set for to get dancing.

Set opener "International Sex Hero" set the tempo for the evening – “He's gonna save the day”. "Gay Icon", "Dance Off", "Peace Love and Mustard", "Cross the Road", "These are not the drugs you are looking for" – all spread the positive and always optimistic message of peace, love, happiness, looking after others and dancing like no one's watching to the rhythm of an anthemic singalong vibe.

It is the energy that resonates off this band, the genuine and authentic belief in making the world a happier shinier place that is so much part of their appeal. This is not a navel-gazing band – their quest for silliness and having a good time overrides any such tendencies - but it is a band that more than one self-described “old punk” there on Saturday night can't help but love.

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Channelling the likes of Primal Scream, the Beatles, the Happy Mondays and the Utah Saints there are catchy beats and infectious rhythms galore throughout this set and the crowd get behind them every step of the way, enthusiastically crossing the road or joining in the dance off and sitting down on the floor. And there was also a storming cover of Ghostbusters in a wee nod to Hallowe'en.

It is impossible not to get caught up in it all, impossible not to get swept along by the sheer joy of it all. To quote a line from "These are not the drugs you are looking for" – which featured guest vocals from support act Spring Break's Butterscotch - “everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, no one here is sad any more”.

Choose peace, choose love, choose mustard, choose the yellow movement. But don't just take my word for it, the best way to understand it is to actually experience it for yourselves. The Colonel and his crew will take you on an rollicking adventure where there is always a happy ending. It is one of those stories that you never want to end and one which – particularly in what can often seem to be dark and miserable times - is both refreshing and inspirational.

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article by: Clare Damodaran

photos by: Clare Damodaran

published: 13/11/2017 11:25