Metronomy, ULU, London
Wednesday 05 November 2008
Three men in black stand on a red-lit stage, each with a glowing white orb stuck to his chest. At first sight and sound, Metronomy may seem like just another post-Klaxons dance-pop group, but appearances are deceptive.
Firstly, their amiable leader – and remixer du jour – Joseph Mount has been calling himself Metronomy for almost a decade. Secondly – unlike the Klaxons – there's something loveable, inclusive and less self-consciously cool about the Devonshire trio. For starters, there's their dance troupe, Sparklemotion – a Pan's People-style gang of girls (named after the dancers in Donnie Darko) splattered in "blood" and prancing around to Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love".
The band themselves aren't above a spot of dancing, too, often breaking into synchronised robotic moves. Drumkit-free, and alternating between guitars, saxes, synths and melodicas, Metronomy's music was made to be danced to. Seconds into "Holiday" – a wash of eerie, deadpan, downbeat pop – the youthful crowd (some dressed as vampires, others as trolls) are strutting their stuff. Metronomy's recent second album, Nights Out, might not have had the success it deserved, but at ULU, it feels like we're in on a secret.
There's something Devo-ish about Metronomy – like the US art-rockers, they know how to put on a show, and they're not afraid of looking silly. More importantly, they have the tunes: rock-solid, hook-laden and gleefully weird pop songs, from the falsetto disco of "My Heart Beat Rapid" to the pared-down perfection of "Heartbreaker". For the encore to a set that was sweet but short, the band return all in white with red glowing orbs on their chests, and leave us wanting more rather than wanting to go home.
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