Like a husband who’s decided to exit an over-ripe marriage, LCD’s string-puller James Murphy looks like a rejuvenated, (almost) care-free man now that he’s declared that third album ‘This Is Happening’ is to be their last. Perhaps made all the more triumphant considering their two-day drive from Spain (blasted volcano) it is a refreshingly relaxed Murphy and Co. we find here tonight. The huggable frontman chats away between songs – murky sound means we can’t decipher any of it, and it does cause momentum to crash a little – as he teeters over the edge of the stage. After restarting opener ‘Us Vs Them’ twice we get spiky power-throughs of ‘Pow Pow’, ‘Losing My Edge’ and ‘Tribulations’. Meanwhile, ‘All My Friends’ reinforces itself as one of this century’s finest songs. Likewise ‘Daft Punk Is Playing In My House’. They finish on an unexpectedly fragile note – ‘New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down’ as a cloud of white balloons fall silently from the ceiling; a reminder that now Murphy’s made his mind up there might not be many more moments like this left. Somehow this feels less like a gig and more like a euphoric wake. It’s only after that the grief sets in.
Originally published in issue 17 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2010