Chromeo – review

XOYO, London
The Jewish/Lebanese Montreal duo surpass Daft Punk with their feel-good celebration of the mid-80s

Some musical genres appear beyond rehabilitation. It is hard to believe that many sentient souls are longing for a revival of the kind of jauntily attitudinal electro-funk perpetrated by the likes of Cameo and Hall and Oates that routinely jammed up the lower reaches of the singles charts in the mid-80s.

Yet Jewish/Lebanese Montreal duo Chromeo have forged a decade-long career out of mining precisely that unlikely seam, and have built up a sizeable cult following in the process. Before singer/guitarist Dave 1 and keyboardist P-Thugg take the stage to promote their imminent fourth album, White Women, the sellout crowd crammed into this subterranean venue bellow their band's name like football fans.

Driven by choppy funk guitar, noodling synths and squealing vocoder, Chromeo's faux-suave, high-camp disco triggers fearful flashbacks of smart-casual jackets with the sleeves rolled up and BBC Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies's Bit in the Middle. Awash with Robin Thicke-style sexual politics and swaddled in layers of knowing irony, new track Sexy Socialite is essentially Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love reworked for the 21st century.

Frontman Dave 1's perma-grinning geekiness is part of the joke, subverting slick pastiches such as Bonafied Love, which samples Dire Straits's Money for Nothing. It works because they have the tunes to back up the cheese; the infectious Needy Girl wears its Prince fandom on its sleeve, while new track Over Your Shoulder, a predatory chat-up routine over soft-rock guitar and galloping synth-drums, surpasses virtually all Daft Punk's recent output.

Fun, flippant and defiantly soulless, Chromeo are the definitive guilty pleasure, a musical good time to be had by all. Just don't blame anybody else if you hate yourself in the morning.

• Did you catch this gig – or any other recently? Tell us about it using #Iwasthere


Ian Gittins

The GuardianTramp

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