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A Cut Above

Cut Copy live review

Another year, another NME Awards show. And it appears that the nu-rave flame hasn't dimmed in the hearts of either the programmers of tonight's four band showcase, or in its neon-clad young fans. David E. Sugar, Ali Love and Hadouken! are all present and correct, but it's Cut Copy that DJmag are really here to see at Camden's Koko on a foggy Monday night.

In truth, the Melbourne, Australia-based band are a tad incongruous on this lime-green line-up. Fusing first-wave French house music with New Order indebted guitar riffage, their sound has never quite fit in with either the disco punks or the nu ravers. But tonight, no one need fear. Here to promote forthcoming second album 'In Ghost Colours', produced by DFA's Tim Goldsworthy, they hit the stage with a cathedral-sized dose of shoegazing guitar, then bust straight into a new song. The kids get riled up, dancing in their neon gear and throwing miniature glowsticks at the stage. Frontman Dan Whitford cuts between guitar and synth, throwing himself around like a rag doll, before the stadium rave riffs burst through the speakers and send the crowd apoplectic, guitarist Tim Hoey cutting shapes, and drummer Mitchell Scott smashing the skins.

Classic tracks from their debut album 'Bright Like Neon Love' become jacked up, adrenalised rave rockets, with tougher house beats and rougher electro oscillations. 'Saturdays', the disco epic, becomes a rallying call, and new single 'Lights and Music' causes pandemonium, and on first listen is already destined to be one of the tunes of the year. They've certainly added a few old skool rave sounds to their sonic palette this time out, but this is the real deal rather than a cynical cash in.

As a live proposition, Cut Copy are more exciting than on wax, pulling off that notoriously difficult balancing act between guitars and dance music without sacrificing the precious funk. It bodes extremely well for the forthcoming album.