For the 35-minute Live In Paris, captured on several shaky handycams, a giant Monopoly board is projected on screens over Copeland's head. The show proper begins with the sound of a clock striking the hour (Big Ben being the association, though the bongs don't sound deep enough). On "Chance," she reads out the Monopoly squares—"Marylebone Station, Leicester Square"—over panicked synth arpeggios and a rudimentary beat. It's not really a geography of London so much as of the London that exists in the world's imagination: old, civilised, rich with opportunity. She adds in "a hundred million quid," lingers over the world "jail," and ends with "super tax," perhaps reminding us of the city's less admirable behaviour in the run-up to the financial crash.
As the show progresses, the boot, the most downtrodden of all the Monopoly figures, plods its way around the board, presumably forking out rent everywhere it lands. By the end, the tiles are overflowing with houses and hotels; the boot bounces around frantically, landing on "Go to Jail" and winding up behind bars; and the board bursts into cartoon flames. I'd guess that some of my London friends see a similar future in the city.
As for the music? There are some familiar moments: live versions of "Lolina" and "Relaxx," from last year's excellent RELAXIN', and of Hyperdub compilation cut "I Am Your Ambient Wife." On "Wheel Up My Tune," one of the few striking melodies pairs with jackhammer snares for an oddball take on grime. But mostly Live In Paris swaps the UK-dance references of Copeland's past for something stranger. The melody loops of "Last Days Of Being A Wanker" form awkward, scurrying shapes, while Copeland apathetically rattles a cowbell. "The Logic" might have been the album's ominous climax, but its plodding bassline and dissonant shards of synth never quite build to anything, remaining just a few strange ideas barely strung together.
Sometimes Copeland's childlike melodies sound like fairground music, recalling a British tradition that has rotted away in recent decades. Her baroque chord progressions could be sour echoes of the UK's monarchic past—it's not easy music to enjoy. But with "Brexit" looming and the ongoing toxic debates around immigration, you get the point she's making. For an artist like Copeland, a trip across the channel may not be so simple in the future; a stable life in London even less so.