Real Live Action

Broadcast / Atlas Sound

October 30 @ Biltmore Cabaret

Review By Robert Robot

This was one of those shows where you know it will be good, but you’re not sure what to expect. Apparently, Broadcast often plays Vancouver around this time of year, and attending their shows has become a tradition for their Vancouver fans.

Atlas Sound is Bradford Cox. And he’s usually accompanied by a touring band. But when the lights dimmed, sharing the stage with Cox was Broadcast’s James Cargill where his band should have been. “This is a little awkward since the band didn’t show up,” the sound guy told me. Turns out the band’s van broke down 50 miles outside of Seattle, en route to Vancouver. Luckily, Cox decided to make the trip himself.

Maybe he was grumpy that he had to go it alone, or perhaps Cox is, well, a cock. Either way, he became increasingly upset as his set progressed. Despite his tantrums about people talking, the small “g” musical genius that he is, managed to mix feedback with pop as effortlessly as he came up with complaints to rail at the audience with. He was infectious and ridiculous at the same time.

Coming off the well-received Logos album, Atlas Sound was actually the bigger draw here. Regardless, Broadcast, who are now a two-piece, were a great example of a group wanting to progress and not coast on their past achievements. James Cargill set the tone with loops of sound and belches from his Korg while Trish Keenan accompanied with her numerous electronic devices and ‘60s-inspired vocals. Like their recent releases, this was the collage-of-sound Broadcast rather than the studied-pop-songs version of the group that gained them notoriety. Broadcast were a lot noisier and more musically challenging than expected, while Atlas Sound wasn’t as sonically noisy as his demeanour was.