We bear witness to an exclusive London return from LCD Soundsystem.
Originally published in The Edge
Even after two of the finest hours of my life standing in Victoria Park listening to 14 of their choicest cuts, it’s impossible to tell which component of LCD Soundsystem I adore the most. Perhaps it’s the vigour with which James Murphy and co. merrily strike cowbells throughout their sets. Perhaps it’s the sheer number of folks ambling around the stage’s setup of baffling synth equipment having mid-track conversations, sipping glasses of wine, and, at Lollapalooza, whirling out power tools for on-the-go repairs. Perhaps it’s the way they seamlessly incorporate ‘Someone Great,’ a harrowing tribute to a deceased therapist, directly between ‘Yeah,’ a frighteningly intense display of positive affirmation, and ‘Losing My Edge,’ their 2002 bow of spoken middle-aged rambles on the bastard youth (“I’m losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered Eighties”). Perhaps it’s that their farewell five years ago seemed so utterly definitive with its guest spots from Arcade Fire and Reggie Watts and its subsequent DVD (Shut Up And Play The Hits: The Very Loud Ending Of LCD Soundsystem) and rush to the heart of the sun at a time when nothing of the band appeared to be deteriorating that made the very suggestion that I would ever experience it live so absurd and overwhelming.
“We are retiring from the game,” they said. “Gettin’ out. Movin’ on.” Continue reading “Festival review: Saturday at Lovebox 2016”
Taking in the Major Lazer-led opening day in Victoria Park.
Originally published in The Edge
Friday’s ambience in Victoria Park was extremely youthful and its lineup slightly scattered, contrasting starkly to the meticulous scheduling of Saturday and allowing a far better scope to pick and choose little snippets of the unusual. Rather than risk passing out in Fabric’s felt-lined erection for Kano’s sauna performance with surprise turns from Lethal Bizzle and Giggs, my wanders took me past Shy FX spinning vintage Dizzee Rascal, Joris Voorn playing under the shadow of a disgruntled gorilla at Elrow’s Sambodromo do Brasil, and Temple Funk Collective – a beguiling jazz octet bringing sousaphones to Swedish House Mafia, C+C Music Factory, and The Prodigy – on the quaint bandstand.
Earlier in the day, fleeting glimpses had established things nicely: none sufficiently spectacular to justify the price alone, yet perfectly enjoyable presences on a lovely afternoon of eccentric offerings. Some promised great things. “United Kingdom, much like politicians, we came to fuck shit up. Make some motherfucking noise,” opened the Run The Jewels set, which later moved towards El-P getting his new Reebok shoes dirty as he and Killer Mike rapped about fucking the NSA in some fashion on a track from the imminent RTJ3. Katy B, with more elaborate staging than at Common People in May, drew bafflingly large crowds clearly enamoured with the late-decade dubstep wobbles of ‘Perfect Stranger’ and ‘Katy On A Mission.’ MØ, the charismatic Dane, sounded muffled and slow on the infectious ‘Walk This Way’ and ‘Kamikaze’ before missing the obvious and closing with ‘Lean On’ instead of ‘Final Song.’ GoldLink even went a step further away from such expectations, throwing a dash of Nirvana into his otherwise rapped set, triggering mosh pits more hostile than those created by Stormzy, who spent so long creating spaces before ‘Know Me From’ that some hit the deck to do press-ups. Continue reading “Festival review: Friday at Lovebox 2016”