Black and Blue Gallery, Sydney
19th June 2009
Due to arrive back in Sydney towards the end of the week for their final show, it was rumoured or perhaps hoped that Bradford Cox would perform an Atlas Sound show in support of ailing Sydney radio station, FBi, and indeed there was a very late announcement just a few days before confirming said show in an art gallery. A considerable line greeted newcomers from early on in the day; hardcore fans who’d arrived early and others aware of something interesting afoot. One hundred and fifty souls were shoehorned inside the Black and Blue Gallery and waited while drummer Moses Archuleta laptop DJed some ’80s classics.
Bradford Cox looked cheerful but nervous, lit by a sole table lamp and surrounded by a semi-circle of pedals and effects and random instruments, he appeared as if backed into a corner. While admitting only hours earlier that he’d searched the Internet for tabs of his songs to refresh his memory, he put that setback aside as he began with “Cold As Ice” taken from 2008’s Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel. Tapping out the basic rhythm into his Line 6 Delay Modeler, Cox built the song from the ground up, sampling rhythms and guitar figures until they took the required shape.
This same ritual continued on, interspersed with tracks from the forthcoming follow-up to Let The Blind… entitled Logos as well as apologetic discourse for confusing the radio station he was actually doing this benefit for and the joy of New Zealand accents. Cox retold a hilarious story about being reprimanded for swearing on the radio, imitating the New Zealand radio DJ who told him “you cunt say ‘cunt’ on the radio”. I’d be surprised if the majority in attendance were familiar at all with Atlas Sound, but the crammed in masses of which Webcuts was one of the last to make the cut, were calling out requests that even Cox felt too obscure and unplayable. The final track, an elongated jam entitled “Requiem for Myspace” tested the endurance, as Cox seemed reluctant to let things finish, bouncing from pedal to pedal pursuing the ultimate drone.