Metronomy: Liverpool Carling Academy

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It may be a miserable midweek, but Metronomy work their magic to leave Liza Williams close to marvelled. Mmm!


It was a Wednesday, a bit cold and excitement was at a minimum.
The Carling Academy sound man appeared to be encrusted in a thick layer of midweek malaise, to the point at which members of the crowd started to speculate whether he had been cryogenically frozen, and even after vivacious sets from local crazy kids Indica Ritual and London’s Primary One, I still was not sure which way the night would go.
But with the site of three young men rooted at the foot of keyboards, each of their chests affixed with a glowing flying saucer touch pad device, I knew a great gig was about to unfold.
And within about four minutes Metronomy had sort of mesmerised me. Maybe it was the saucers, maybe the synths, I don’t know, but they had my attention.
“It is Wednesday, the day before Thursday, which is the best night of week so tonight is going to be great,â€? coaxed Joseph Mount, writer of all Metronomy’s material and originally the only band member. And he managed to convince everyone.
He and his new found friends Oscar Cash and Gabriel Stebbing ploughed through an array of electro pop tunes including crowd pleaser Heartbreaker and the brilliantly-titled Radio Ladio, with entertaining inventiveness.
At one point a sax appeared, then one of those melodicas, often found in primary school music boxes, with what looked like a mini Hoover pipe attached. And then there was the dancing – oh, the dancing was great.
From synchronised hand claps and music box ballerina pirouettes, to glowing touch pads being slammed off and on in perfect time – I loved it. It all felt very European.
And each track was genuinely surprising. Just as you thought the direction of a song was obvious, a change of pitch or instrument changed it completely.
As the set played out, Mount nervously announced: “Thank you for coming, we didn’t expect this many people,â€? and you could tell he genuinely meant it.
He also developed a touching fondness for the Academy’s smoke machine, (but probably only because it made his illuminous bits stand out more).
New track Holiday seemed to impress and the night ended on a high, with the crowd enraptured by instrumental You Could Easily Have Me, a title affirming Mount’s modesty.
Influences of Kraftwerk, New Order and other 80s electronica pioneers are prominent in Metronomy’s music but the trio carry it forward and pull it off.
They seem to relish dancing like Devo with pieces of household lighting equipment attached to their clothes, and appear very sweet and modest at the same time. A perfect combination for a band finding their feet.

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