Will LCD Soundsystem play in Ireland in 2016?
Some musing on where you may hear “All My Friends” live this year in Ireland
Leaving aside the ins and outs of just why the band have decided to get back together again a wet weekend after saying goodbye and good luck, it’s probably inevitable that LCD Soundsystem will show up in Ireland somewhere this year. They came back together again on the back of an offer they couldn’t refuse from promoters AEG to play shows and you can be sure they’ll be doing more than the already announced Coachella, Bonnaroo, Primavera and Roskilde festivals.
And you can be sure that people will want to see James Murphy and co in Ireland. Una Mullally’s fine piece from a few weeks ago will chime with many twenty, thirty and fortysomethings who remember the band soundtracking their wild nights and mornings after, while there will be younger music fans who want to know what all the fuss was about. Even in a summer when it seems that all the main draws are bands you remember for a decade, 20 or 30 years ago, LCD Soundsytem exert a spell on those who actually go to gigs and festivals on a fairly regular basis. They’re the sound of that generation, though that generation didn’t exactly go mad buying the albums.
So where will you find them in Ireland? Here’s where you’ll see the world of the live music business at play. There’s a thing called the promoter-of-record which usually holds sway with promoters and agents, where the promoter who first took a chance on an act is usually always the same man the agent and act call on every time they want to play a show in that territory. For example, Denis Desmond was the first promoter to bring R.E.M. to Ireland and they always went to MCD for their Irish shows. Similarly, Jim Aiken was the man who brought Bruce Springsteen to Ireland and Springsteen has always been an Aiken Promotions’ act in Ireland ever since.
However, the promoter-of-record thing doesn’t always work. Look at last week’s Longitude bill, for instance. Kendrick Lamar’s promoter-of-record in Ireland is Aiken Promotions, who put on his debut Irish show at Dublin’s Vicar Street in January 2013 and yet he’s playing the MCD-backed event. A better example of how the promoter-of-record thing works when money and offers fly around are The National who were an MCD act for years, flipped to Aiken Promotions after the disastrous Oxegen appearance in 2011 (I could write a book at this stage based on the off-the-record stuff I’ve heard about that gig and who-said-what and what-was-said), stayed with Aikens for a few years and are now back inside the MCD tent. Then, there’s Pixies, a band who’ve been promoted in Dublin by MCD since 1990. but who will be playing the Aiken Promotions’ Iveagh Gardens series in July. And you often have acts who go with one promoter when it comes to conventional venues and another for outdoor shows and festivals. The promoter-of-record thing is a slippery beast.
In the case of LCD Soundsystem, John Reynolds and POD Concerts have always promoted the act in Ireland. They put on the band’s best Irish shows at the old Tripod venue and brought them to Stradbally for the Electric Picnic in the first place. Going by this metric – and the fact that the timing looks right with the band arriving in Europe at the start of the summer to play Primavera in Barcelona – you’d expect to see them on the bill at Forbidden Fruit in Dublin’s IMMA over the June bank holiday weekend.
Many would think that the obvious place for the band would be the Electric Picnic seeing as they’ve played there before. Here, though, is where music industry politics might have an effect. Seeing as AEG are the ones who put the band back together by flashing the cash, they’re unlikely to be too fond of handing the band over to rival promoters Live Nation who now control the Picnic via their Festival Republic subsidary.
You have to wonder if the Picnic would actually need the band to shift tickets. Remember that Picnic promoter and Live Nation UK boss Desmond stated three months ago that half of the tickets for the 2016 festival were already sold so the event must be near sold out status at this stage before they ever get around to announcing an act. Then again, booking LCD Soundsystem, paying a very fat fee to keep AEG happy (AEG don’t have a festival in Ireland) and putting them on as headliners might make sense all round.
However, if the band are only going to be in Europe this summer at the start of the season (ie up to Roskilde), then it’s unikely that you’ll see them in Stradbally. A Dublin show in June makes sense, whether it’s at the Forbidden Fruit festival or a stand-alone gig at the same venue (which is now used by both POD and MCD during June). They’re unlikely to be at Longitude as they’ve already announced their headliners. So far the only shows announced have been festival dates so it’s unlikely that they’d head to the 3Arena or any other indoor space at this stage in the reunion. There’s always Metropolis, of course, the POD-promoted indoor winter festival. Of course, they might always choose to blank Ireland….