Photos by Tim Boddy

It’s coming to that time of year where we validate our endless hours of music consumption by compiling our lists of the year. Cut Copy will undoubtedly feature in many of these lists from top albums to top gigs; 2011 has been a truly monumental year for the group. Zonoscope, the follow up to their seminal tapestry In Ghost Colours has affirmed their status at the top table of electro-pop. The new album follows Cut Copy's essential formula of 80's driven synth pop laced with indie kicks and dance beats. Nobody does it better. When the chance came up to see them signing off from their enormous world tour I was strangely...nervous.

Back in February I was lucky enough to see Cut Copy perform at what was the early days of their world tour, at the Manchester students union. That Saturday beano, kicking off on the 11:40 from London Euston and finishing at 04:30 in the reception of our hostel, sits proudly at the top of my gigs of the year list. The setting at the union was perfect, a raucous weekend crowd, a tight, low-ceilinged room and two of my best mates at my side. Having had such a superb time at this previous gig made the prospect of seeing them at the Roundhouse, a much larger venue, on a sober school night a worrying one. Now while I'd never claim that you need to have a few beers to enjoy a gig, I'd most certainly say that having a good few units in your blood before hand only serves to enhance ones evening. How could this gig possibly live up to my previous experience?

What makes Cut Copy's albums stand out from the crowd is the seamless transition from track to track, the maintenance of vibe and tempo that links each infectious segment of the records. If you haven't listened to In Ghost Colours it is the definitve example of how to do achieve this. There aren't many albums that keep you locked in like theirs do. Being able to translate this to their live shows makes one of their gigs stand out in the same way. There is no silence. No waiting from track to track, no loss of momentum or decrease in heart-beat.

Firing off with the sumptious second single from Zonoscope, 'Take Me Over', the scene was set for another top ten of 2011 performance, with front man Dan Whitford gesticulating wildly, orchestrating the swarm of eager dancers. What followed was a seamless tour through their finest moments; taking in the fabulous Saturdays from their debut album Bright Like Neon Love, second album stomper 'Hearts on Fire' during which Whitford goaded the crowd with an open palm before counting down to the songs crescendo: an all-singing all-dancing frenzy, and Zonoscope stand outs 'Where I'm Going' and 'Need You Now'. Throughout the performance the band's energy was electric, leading me on a number of occasions to erroneously conclude that we were heading into the encore. When we did finally reach the climax to the show I, and many of the audience looked ready for it. Sixty minutes of hard dancing had left the majority breathless, thirsty wrecks. What followed was the perfect choice to wrap things up, the brilliant 'Out There On The Ice'. As me and my compatriates chanted out the opening line "Yes, no maybe is all I need to hear from you" I realised how stupid I'd been to be anxious about this night being a disappointment.

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