LCD Soundsystem, Cockpit, Leeds

Cockpit, Leeds

At an age when most adolescents are poring over racy magazines, James Murphy spent his private moments gazing at record sleeves from record labels like Factory, Ze, Postcard and the appropriately named Fetish Records. A couple of decades on, these are the key reference points behind LCD Soundsystem's dance-rock. However, the curve-ball that makes LCD more than a conglomerate of second-hand cool is Murphy's intrinsic understanding of the ridiculousness of the vinyl trainspotter.

Tracks like Daft Punk Is Playing at My House witheringly send up the ethos of "cooler than thou" while giving an insight into the kind of fantasies that perhaps really do dominate Murphy's waking hours.

Live, the bearded New Yorker plays the record store geek as effortlessly as Woody Allen. He shrieks like a man undergoing severe muscular spasms, or David Byrne.

Where LCD's debut album mines Murphy's record collection for Eno and Pink Floyd, the live show showcases the sound he (as producer) rejigged for the Rapture.

His devotion to duty extends to using old-fashioned equipment. Alas, this is prone to breaking down, but interruptions in momentum are compensated for by Murphy's wit. "I'm sick... so I'm taking medicine," he says, spraying his suffering throat. "I know that's not cool."

The machines hold their nerve for Losing My Edge. Murphy's masterpiece, it's a hilarious narrative describing how someone so hip he "was there at the first Can shows, in Cologne..." is being cruelly overtaken by younger kids armed with internet downloads. The rhythms grow frenetic, until Murphy can be parted no longer from a dressing room that probably contains not drink and groupies but exclusive 12-inch imports.

· At Hammersmith Palais, London W6, on April 25. Box office: 0870 264 3333.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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