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LCD Soundsystem – Glasgow Barrowlands

Music exists to move you. Sometimes your head, sometimes your feet, but always; that’s what it’s for. It is a rare act who can do both at the same time. But midway through a thunderous, epic ‘All My Friends’ – the sort of dark classic Ian Curtis may well have gone on to create if he’d married the Kraftwerk albums he loved to his own, haunted muse – LCD Soundsystem achieve just that. It’s a remarkable moment from a remarkable group.James Murphy, frontman and heartbeat of the New York act, shouldn’t really be cool. He’s of average height, looks, has a paunch and wears t-shirts which look like they are washed-out the old way rather than the Urban Outfitters style. But striding on stage, ready to take charge, it would be a lone voice in the hall who doesn’t think he’s absolutely icebox.

Kicking off with ‘Get Innocuous!’ it’s straight into what they do best. Great, rhythmic walls of sound interspersed with slithering percussion fills, topped off with Murphy’s David Byrne-esque vocals stabbing out his slightly arch take on life. Indeed, if LCD Soundsystem do have a musical forefather, it’s Talking Heads. The same sense of adventure, of teasing every last drop of value from every noise, of the sheer power of the rhythm is imbued in all of their best stuff. Like their New York antecedants, though, they never lose fact of the importance of giving people a big fat hook to get impaled on.

‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’ is delivered like the scuzzy electro treat it is, before ‘Us v Them’ rathchets everything up a notch. Murphy dedicates the set to legendary Glasgow club night Optimo, before a brain-scouringly loud run through new single ‘Drunk Girls’. The tracks from new album This is Happening stand up well to the instant classics of the first two efforts.

‘All My Friends’ is, however, something special. Built on an adrenalised piano, tonight sees glacial stabs of ‘Ceremony’-style guitar and keyboard over as Murphy’s increasingly impassioned vocals tear at your heartstrings. It is an astonishing tour de force, and if the rest of the set doesn’t match that emotional crescendo, then it’s down to the magnificence of this moment than a failure on the part of the rest.

LCD Soundsystem are a band who can actually make you cry, make you smile and make you dance.  After a pretty much flawless, set, Murphy announces Glasgow is his favourite place to play, and while they all say that, you can’t help but want to take his word. His music is honest, so it’s easy to trust him too.

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One Response

  1. great review, James Murphy is a god and their set last night was astonishing. Its rumoured this is going to be their last ever tour. I hope that’s just a rumour with no substance – they are a must-see for me and right now I know I only want desperately to go and see them again.

    If it is true I will cry

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