Metronomy - review

The Cockpit, Leeds

When Metronomy emerged three years ago at the height of New Rave, they wore lightbulbs stuck to their chests, did comical, ironic synchronised dancing and played tiny electronic gadgets with one hand in the air. The impression was of a budget Kraftwerk. There were amused titters at their gigs, but they were not taken seriously enough to become more than an interesting diversion.

Three years on, founder Joseph Mount has become a sought-after remixer for everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg to Goldfrapp. The arm movements and the lightbulbs are gone, and a lineup rejig has brought in a female drummer while new bassist Gbenga Adelekan has brought funk to their grooves. However, their sense of humour hasn't entirely gone – Oscar Cash plays saxophone so wonderfully out of tune that founder Mount can't keep a straight face.

Although formed in Devon, Metronomy's melancholic electronica clearly shows a fascination with continental Europe, and their songs confront romance and misery on life's existential dancefloor. Where the older material sounds quaint – and occasionally amateurish – songs from forthcoming album The English Riviera seem to have swapped quirks for accessibility. She Wants sounds like a 2011 take on the Cure's early material, while the fantastic The Look – electro-pop built around an instantly catchy Human League-style synth riff – deserves to be a whopping hit.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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