Hello, hello, do come in!
Sit yourself down! Fancy a drink?
For God’s sake, though, don’t mention arses in front of Tony. You know how he gets, with the piles cushions, his chart of the ‘gliterarsi’, the soft, velour touch of his fingers as they waft over your shapely cheeks… I’m already a-quiver, Dorothy, just don’t bring it up.
Oh? You won’t stay? But I was about to put the LCD Soundsystem on?
LCD Soundsystem, then, aka James Murphy and His Merrie Bande of Electro-Pirates, Funk-Merchants and All-About Musical Jamboree. They’re a funky, punky, pop-upstart outfit who until very recently made all of New York City their bleeping, blorking playground. On record, though, almost everything is sung, struck or stuck together by Murphy himself. What a guy.
You might know some of their hits, but if not, here’s a quick run down: ‘North American Scum‘ is a gloriously punch-drunk anti-US tirade that was in Step Brothers, ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’ was the soundtrack to loads of video games and probably your 16th birthday, and ‘New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down’ is wonderfully depressing and features Kermit on vocals.
In 2011, and after releasing three wonderful albums, Murphy announced that LCD Soundsystem would be permanently turning off the stereo, but not before a globe-spanning tour that would culminate in one mega-gig at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Yours truly, the lucky bugger, managed to see the farewell show with Hot Chip in Cardiff, and it was fucking beautiful, as was having Murphy and co DJ immediately afterwards and being able to shout my compliments directly into his sweaty face.
The Madison Square Garden gig has gone down in folklore as being one of the most emotionally charged and affecting shows you might have been to. There’s an amazing film of it called Shut Up and Play The Hits – made by Pulse films, who also did the great Blur at Hyde Park documentary – that compares it to ‘the best funeral ever’, which is pretty apt. Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, aka Troy of Troy and Abed, even showed up in the crowd.
‘All My Friends’ comes at one of the best moments in the show. It’s a song about growing old and trying to piece together a night out together with the old gang, and though everything’s a bit rusty, and you’ve got kids waiting at home or a job in the morning, they still manage to have a life-changing evening. ‘Though when we’re running out of the drugs/And the conversation’s winding away/I wouldn’t trade one stupid decision/For another five years of life‘, Murphy croons.
It is, also, dedicated to young Paddyshambles, who’s fucking off to America after tomorrow’s Shambletrack. I think the song is quite a comforting reminder that, no matter what changes in the weeks, months or even years you’re away from your mates or from home, nothing really changes. The same people matter, the same things really matter, and even if your Podshamble partner comes back with a new accent, haircut and outrageous shoes, he’s still pretty great.
NB: The live version is pretty much perfect too and is found here.
A sexy wink to you all,