LCD Soundsystem at Brixton Academy

Resident Advisor

Original article here.

After the dreaded volcanic dust cloud postponed the two Dublin gigs, London’s famous Brixton Academy played host to the start of LCD Soundsystem’s UK tour.

As James Murphy later protested on stage, the whole night’s timing was a bit off (apparently in response to an overly late show they played last time) and subsequently his weird and wonderful DFA protégées, Yacht, came on to a half empty venue at 8pm.

This wouldn’t normally be such a problem, but as they only played for half an hour it meant that the majority of the potential audience – this reviewer included – managed to miss the speedy spectacle that is their live show.

Given the amount of kit that had to be assembled on stage for the main act it is understandable that there was an hour’s gap in between, but this still wasn’t enough time to iron out all the technical problems and the whole evening had a rather obvious opening night feel to it.

Opening number, ‘Us vs. Them’, was played again in its entirety due to Nancy Whang’s keyboard malfunctioning, and judging by the lack of her usual enthusiasm throughout, one suspects that she may not have been getting full use of it at any point.

Unperturbed by the constant fiddling with machines and correcting of levels, Murphy and Co. ploughed in shambolic but entertaining fashion through a variety of their back catalogue, new track ‘Pow Pow’ followed by the classic ‘Losing My Edge’ before a brief explanation of what the band have been up to since the last album; “ruining our lives, paying tax bills, getting drunk at local bars, you know, the important stuff”.

There have been a few line-up changes since last time around: the man behind the two great synth rigs, Gavin Russom, lingers at the back sporting a fantastic white-trash mullet, while The Melvin’s guitarist David Scott Stone thrashes through the band’s best riffs, and the all important bass-lines are provided by the return of Tyler Pope.

Given the amount of fiddling and instrument swapping between songs, there was ample time for Murphy’s trademark banter, with his next speech concerning how he hated bands that only played stuff from there new album and wanted to give the fans some golden oldies.

The fact that they followed this with a song from the new album can be forgiven seeing as it was the irritatingly catchy new single, ‘Drunk Girls’, which was then the catalyst for a couple of the band’s best; ‘All My Friends’ and ‘Tribulations’. The real musical force behind the band, drummer Pat Mahoney, then got to indulge in a powerful percussion session, complete with psychedelic lighting and lashings of smoke, before the obligatory encore.

The last three songs were well chosen through, with the electronic half of the band gradually bringing in the elements of ‘Someone Great’, before launching into a suitably raucous rendition of ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’ and finishing with the tender ‘New York I Love You’, topped off with the releasing – and applause-like popping – of a hundred or so white balloons.

Even if there were numerous technical problems, and they didn’t play the likes of ‘North American Scum’ and ‘Get Innocuous’, the spectacle of seven talented musicians jamming through some of the best music of the last decade, is still something to behold. And considering this is apparently the last album and presumably the last tour, whatever you do this year, try to catch this uniquely shambolic and fantastic live act before they disband forever.