After a world tour of their debut album Zonoscope (2011), the electro-pop playing graphic designers, Cut Copy, came back to London to play at the Roundhouse. This was my second time seeing Cut Copy in less than a year, which gave me an ideal opportunity to compare with their gig at the HMV Forum. A major distinction was that the set was less theatrical than the HMV forum gig in which they came out of a giant door that remained centre stage throughout the gig.
But theatrics aside, Cut Copy managed to captivate the audience’s attention without their use, particularly during their 15-minute song Sun God. A risky song choice and something not expected to last 15-minutes at a gig, Cut Copy’s guitarist Tim Hoey managed to entertain an increasingly lost and bored audience with elaborate guitar playing techniques. Hoey started by holding his guitar in the air like a ritual sacrifice and slapping it on the back, he then attempted to play the guitar with a drumstick before giving up and holding it against the speakers to make distortion sounds.
Whilst some of their songs were a little weird and too long, Cut Copy also played a mixture of hits from their most popular album In Ghost Colours (2008). So Haunted had the audience jumping and singing the lyrics back, “Ooohs” were echoing around the Roundhouse and to most of the audience’s annoyance – several people lost their iPhones during the jumping and spent the rest of the night scouring and crawling on the floor, asking people if they had seen them! However, this time to sort yourself out and look at your phone was rare. Cut Copy’s albums are like carefully woven tapestries, each song connects and transitions seamlessly to the next without silence or pause. Unsurprisingly, the gig was no different to their albums. Whilst the band was drinking water, a transition song played to fill the time between songs that gave the gig a real flawless continuity, which is something I don’t experience at many gigs.
Maybe a reason for these transitions is because they don’t speak to the audience much during gigs. They said that London was one of their last tour dates and could be the “climax of the whole tour” which got some wild cheers, and then they also mumbled indecipherable things that neither me nor the person next to me could understand. But despite this, Cut Copy had a very cool stage presence. They came on stage dressed in suits, shirts and smart trousers looking more like young businessmen than an electro-pop band. But whilst they coolly didn’t talk much, they did treat the audience to the elusive double encore. Their last song Out Their On The Ice was the perfect closing song that had the audience dancing and jumping around and wanting more. It was only once the lights had come on that anyone was willing to leave the Roundhouse.