In spite of the weather, the seminal Australian band brought the party atmosphere for their much-anticipated return to London.
It seems unfair but slightly apt that it’s raining as Cut Copy play their first show in London for five years. Their Balearic synths had always been leavened by the melancholy of their lyrics.
After a week of sun, the Friday night set begins with ‘Need You Now’ under ominous grey skies in Somerset House’s courtyard. Synths quicken, frontman Dan Whitford’s voice begins to quiver and ache as he sings “Hush darling, don’t you cry” but by the time we reach the end of the song it has exploded into a glittery, arms aloft sing along as umbrellas are thrust into the air and suddenly we’ve forgotten the weather and the appositely titled ‘Black Rainbows’ kicks in.
This is a band ready to party: this is a greatest hits, with the songs flitting between albums showing how their sound has evolved from the DFA enthralled disco indie of their Bright Like Neon Love into something more textured and baggy. Whitford dedicates ‘Future’ from their debut, Bright Like Neon Love, to the late Philipe Zdar who produced that album over fifteen years ago.
You can hear in the songs tonight the styles they’ve tried on for size, the baggy rave of ‘Meet Me In the House of Love’, the dubby rhythms of the quietly political ‘Free Your Mind’, and newer songs like ‘Standing in the Middle of the Field’. It’s all here tonight and reminds you they’re a band who are magpie-like in “reinterpreting the music we like within our own records,” as frontman Whitford put it.
A tropical breeze blows through all these songs holding them together – and as the drizzle falling on the courtyard becomes steadily heavier they play a stand out ‘Hearts On Fire’ which pulses and explodes with love. As they end with ‘Lights and Music’ the crowd don’t care what the weather is doing. This is a party. The lights blink and stop. The band, who have been mostly silent on stage throughout the show, leave the stage. Suddenly they shout ‘Fuck Boris’. As a call to arms for 2019 it more than matches ‘Free Your Mind’.