A £50 beach towel, a ludicrously overpriced picture disc of ‘Da Funk’ and a divisive collaboration alongside The Weeknd are the sum total of Daft Punk’s output in 2016. Despite all this, the secretive French duo have once again been voted into the Top 100 DJs poll, which if you think about it is quite an achievement considering they haven’t DJ’d since the early noughties, and haven’t played live since 2007.
Then there’s been the constant rumblings of a tour in 2017. Having toured twice in their career (1997 and 2007), many fans believe 2017 is the year that the duo will finally return to the stage, and the evidence is indeed mounting. In recent weeks the rumours have reached fever pitch with the discovery of Alive2007.com, which — after some 'homework' — was found to be littered with loads of clues to a potential tour. Whilst we’ve yet to hear any real industry whispers to back up the rumours, it’s our hope that the duo’s current merchandising plans are Daft Punk’s way of self-funding their next big move, which could and should be a new tour.
When they accepted Coachella’s invitation to play live in 2006, after several refusals, they asked the festival for a huge advance to created their laser-fuelled stage show, and it would seem if they do return to the stage they’ll need even more money to realise their lofty ambitions — so could this year's crass merchandising endeavours be the reason why they’ve been selling Daft Punk-embossed frisbees, beach towels and skateboards? We sure hope so. With the return of Justice, Mr Oizo, Breakbot and Cassius this year alone, there’s something of a French renaissance in the air, and a Daft Punk tour alongside a new live album would be the perfect swansong to an impressive return to form for French electronic music’s old guard. ANDREW RAFTER