Friday, 21 March 2008

Silver Sounds

LCD Soundsystem, shall I compare thee to some other bands this summer's day? Thou art more lovely than quite a few bands that I've heard....

At a Big Day Out whose weak line-up was brutally exposed in Sydney by Bjork's last minute drop-out (rumours abounded that she had pulled out after getting booed in Brisbane) small pleasures were to be treasured. They were few and far between (P'nau's dancing fruit ensemble; at least half of Arcade Fire; Kate Nash's enthusiasm if not her songs; a nice couple of rants by Billy Bragg - post-modernised by him being framed on all sides of the stage by the sponsorship of a popular brand of
American shoe with minimal arch support) and it was quickly apparent that most people were only there for one band. I'm sure it must be a source of daily bemusement to the four members of Rage Against the Machine that their informed, principaled and politicized outpourings are essentially ignored by the majority of people who watch them who are far more interested in taking off their shirts, sweating and jumping up and down on people. Still, it would have been interesting to see an aerial shot of the Sydney Showgrounds as Arcade Fire finished their set about 30 metres from the Rage stage; at least 80% of the entire BDO crowd were there. However, even standing 1000 rows back and four songs in we were quickly covered in piss/beer, trod on a few times and had far too much contact with slimy-skinned imbeciles with Southern Cross tattoos.

This all turned out to be good though, because if this hadn't happened I don't think we'd have seen as much of LCD Soundsystem and wouldn't have been impressed enough to get a last minute ticket to see them the next day at the Enmore. And how we were impressed... yes they sound like a few other bands - but hey, they're all good bands. Who wouldn't want to see a group that pulls out the best of Joy Division, Talking Heads, Underworld, the Doors, David Bowie, Underground Lovers and New Order - but yet feel completely honest, fresh and modern? The band were a real revelation (apparently they feature a member of Arcade Fire on percussion) and Mr Murphy was as charming and self-depreciating as you'd expect from someone who has taken 15 years to 'make it'.

I know every poll and their dog has ranked Sound of Silver highly in the 2007 best ofs, and that the same happened in 2005 when they released LCD Soundsystem but for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to get involved. Maybe too many people were harpiong on at me... but who knew that those songs would sound so good live? They played pretty-much all the new album and a hefty whack off their debut (I think), but in the end it didn't matter whether you knew the songs (most people there) or not (me) because they all worked and they all sounded perfect. People danced their bums off all night, euphoric and we all rose as one to concede to the inevitable promise/taunt - 'we're your friends tonight.' If you can see them, do.

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