LCD Soundsystem & Hot Chip – The Apollo, Manchester – 25th November 2010

Posted on November 21, 2010


If this tour really is to be the last hurrah for LCD Soundsystem then they will leave behind a large void in the music world – as well as some very disappointed fans. It hardly seems believable that they will disband since they possess such an incisive ability to translate impressive studio work into marvellous nights such as this. Tonight they made an audience of Vice Magazine readers throw their little hands up, before exiting to a rapturous reception and leaving everybody speculating their future.

Their subversive approach to dance-pop has seen them garner some fervent support, with their ability to flit from rumbling anticipation to thrilling crescendos almost unmatched. Essentially electro, their sound also exhibits strong elements of indie, punk and pop and tonight they demonstrated what a great live band they are. Songs such as ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ and ‘Yeah’ gave this audience a thrilling ride, with phenomenal rhythms and compositions full of dynamism; they inherently made the audience dance. Many songs contained exciting tempo changes, expertly pulled off, highlighting the strength of LCD’s rhythm section. Indeed, the professionalism among the entire outfit was deeply impressive.

They boast a substantial live sound and James Murphy, the brains behind the whole thing, is a hugely charismatic singer and lyricist. His stage presence is splendid, cutting a dynamic, imposing figure, relentless in his enjoyment of the music. His voice is great too, with a smooth delivery that works superbly in conjunction with their sound. To simply label LCD Soundsystem a Talking Heads rip-off (as many people have) would be a gross oversimplification.  Murphy has clearly taken influence from their work but there is enough of his own ideas and personality in LCD to make it his own. His lyrics are often social narratives and full of self-deprecation, with sharp wit at the heart of his words, and all this came through on a night that really showed LCD are a musical force.

Hot Chip were co-headliners tonight but, in truth, their set lacked the vital ingredients that made LCD Soundsystem’s so good. Their rhythms were less powerful, compositions less skilled and vocals less pleasing. All in all, this night most definitely belonged to LCD Soundsytem.

words by Robert Pollard

Photos by Sam Ellis


Posted in: Music