Metronomy: True Contenders

Last year we saw Metronomy rise to the occasion. Their world-wide English Riviera Tour was a complete success, proving to be top contenders in the music scene and towering above the melting pot of generic, boring and predictable alternative/electropop stuff out there. Little Wing was lucky enough to witness their very last show, the grand finale of the tour, at the Royal Albert Hall. We were mesmerized, to say the least, and thought that this is most definitely a band worth writing about.So, on a warm autumn evening in early October, Hana and I rocked up an hour late (as per usual), power-walking through the tunnel at High Street Kensington tube station, which by the way always seems like the longest tunnel in the history of tunnels. As we briskly walk up the stairs onto the street, Hana lights a cig and I pop a pill (Cold&Flu All in One – I had a terrible case of tonsillitis) and we leg it to the Albert.

To be completely honest with you, neither of us were die-hard Metronomy fans at this point. I’d heard of them about a year ago through my friend Lien, who actually bought the tickets but sadly couldn’t make it, and Hana had heard of them…24 hours prior to the actual gig. Needless to say, we were excited to be at a concert because we were in dire need of some live music for our ears, but we didn’t really know what the hell to expect. The result was a more than pleasant surprise –Metronomy is composed of four hugely talented musicians with a whole lot of stage swagger.

We caught one of the opening acts after getting a few bevvies in at the bar; an awesome foursome based in East London called Django Django. It’s a little difficult to really describe what they are all about. Not really electro-dance and not quite punk-funk, this band is definitely different and one to watch out for. They had a cool vibe, mixing live instruments with recorded electronic sounds, but you really have to listen to them yourselves to gather some sort of conclusion about their bizarre, yet oddly captivating soundscape. They definitely got us going, though!

After a short interval, and another whiskey and coke, it was time for Metronomy – that is of course after a rather unusual, muffled and far too long, introduction by a recorder quartet. They opened up with the title track to their third album, The English Riviera, and a brilliant mix of old (from their second LP, Nights Out) and new followed suit. It was a strange setting for a band that usually propels their listeners into a dancing frenzy, and the angst was palpable as spectators sat with their hands on their knees, edging off their chairs bit by bit to drummer Anna Prior’s pounding beats. Soon enough, producer and front man Joe Mount, with the help of super talented Oscar Cash on the keyboard and effortlessly cool Gbenga Adelekan on the bass, fired up the hall with Holiday and The Bay. People were buzzing, propping up from their seats bopping on the spot or rushing as far front as the ushers allowed.

About half an hour in came out favourite bit, when they played The Look. Not only was it one of the favourites, but Mr Cash got wheeled on stage in a movable keyboard contraption, playing that unmistakable tune. It was visual and audible perfection!

And so, midst a pumped up (mostly hipster) crowd, there we were, witnessing a sell-out, stellar performance that will stay with us forever. The lighting was also immense; it sucked you into the powerful synth of Metronomy’s music. It’s clear that these four are going places; it was hard not to be impressed. If you haven’t been to one of their gigs, go! I seriously recommend them.

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