EDitorial ± 10-Nov-2010

LCD Soundsystem & Hot Chip, London

Previous London gig trip was day-time, hot, by train and family friendly. Latest trip is night-time, cold, by car and decidedly solo. Was gonna let the train do the hard work before realising that I couldn't get back from Ally Pally -- yep, Alexandra Palace -- and still catch the last loco (11:30pm) out of Liverpool Street.

Made it to Muswell Hill, somehow, simple as A12 / M25 / A10 / A406 / A105 / A109 / B151. Missed the A105, but hey. Asked the local kebab shop bloke for the whereabouts of the People's Palace: end of the road, mate. Found a convenient on-road parking spot and joined the freezing queueing crowd for a gig that should have started 10 minutes ago.

Through security, past the food stalls and the token exchange booths, and into the Great Hall. What a great hall. Hooooge great space. Barely time to take in any more before the Hot Chip boys hit the stage with And I Was A Boy From School, very good. Been a fan since I caught them on the Mercury prize awards a while back. Unlikely looking fellas, like the Tomorrow's World house band featuring Godley & Creme. They sure can pump out a sound. Straight from One Night Stand into Over & Over, everybody's favourite track. Before you know it, they're off, having started late. Time to queue for the loo and hand over some cash for a Caffe Yum latte. Extra shot, please.

Really, though, I'm not here for Hot Chip -- they're the bonus ball. I'm here for the US headliners, the mighty LCD Soundsystem. Who? Hard to explain. Bit like a funkier New Order but, IMHO, with better tunes. Speakers are kicking out 10CC's I'm Not In Love, heaven knows why, then the LCDs slowly appear. They launch into Dance Yrself Clean, first track on the new album, and I'm a very happy man. Place is filled with young groovy man-bag toting hipsters with ubercool SOs, plus me. Drunk Girls follow -- that's a track, by the way -- and later we get into the extraordinary All My Friends:

We set controls for the heart of the sun
One of the ways that we show our age

You either get it or you don't. As if it couldn't get better, it does, stepping up into an epic Yeah (chorus: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) which goes on for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, I lose track. Until it finally morphs into a wall of white noise, reshaping and emerging as the haunting Someone Great. Last track -- alas, they've hit the curfew -- is the superbly uplifting Home, played out as 500 white balloons descend. Ears are ringing, senses stunned, and it's out into the bracing night air of N22.