Metronomy – review

Old Market, Brighton
The band makes a euphoric homecoming loaded with new material that twitches and percolates like nu-rave Sly Stone

When Metronomy transformed themselves from the South Coast version of Hot Chip – all eccentric glitch'n'roll – to a 70s-referencing pop band, everything started to click. Their 2011 album The English Riviera received a Mercury prize nomination and their highest chart position to date; the build-up to this spring's new one, Love Letters, has included a video directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Michel Gondry.

This first show in 18 months is as much a euphoric homecoming – three of the quartet have Brighton links – as it is a road test for Love Letters, which is unfurled nearly in full. It's a measure of the crowd's affection that leader Joseph Mount's apology for loading the show with unfamiliar material is greeted with indulgent yelps. But the yelps are off-the-scale piercing for favourites such as Heartbreaker and Radio Ladio (both from 2008's pre-fame Nights Out), which twitch and percolate like nu-rave Sly Stone. At these moments, Mount undeniably has the funk, but it's an endearingly English kind – pigmented with a pinched (but effective) falsetto and apologies for his bongo-playing skills.

Visually, Metronomy could have been assembled from four different bands: bassist Gbenga Adelekan is tall and elegant, keyboardist Oscar Cash an elfin indie moptop and drummer Anna Prior could be a lost Haim, whereas Mount is dressed for the office, in blazer and white shirt. Further confusing things are Prior's drums which, embedded with flashing lights, could have been donated by a wedding-party DJ. In tandem, though, they're a seamless organism who incorporate prog, dream-pop and, on the new Never Wanted, an unexpected bash at Tom Odell-esque balladry. On the previously unheard instrumental Boy Racers, which is destined for heavy rotation in hipster coffee shops, they daringly reclaim the sound of 70s TV incidental music. It's an intriguing mix, offering almost too much to absorb – but Metronomy absolutely have a way about them.

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

Contributor

Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Metronomy - review
Where the older material sounds quaint, songs from forthcoming album The English Riviera seem to have swapped quirks for accessibility, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

24, Jan, 2011 @6:06 PM

Article image
Metronomy review – winsome English funk that says please and thank you
Joseph Mount delivers his idiosyncratic brand of polite lounge-pop with bewitching precision

Danny Wright

21, May, 2017 @12:01 PM

Article image
Metronomy – review

Metronomy's homecoming gig was the perfect setting for their sun-kissed tales of life by the British seaside, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

23, Apr, 2011 @11:05 PM

CD: Metronomy, Nights Out

What impresses most is how the band manage to corral their disparate ideas into a cohesive whole

Alex Macpherson

05, Sep, 2008 @11:10 AM

Metronomy, King Tut's, Glasgow

King Tut's, Glasgow

Miles Johnson

27, Feb, 2008 @1:15 PM

Metronomy: The English Riviera – review
Metronomy reposition southwest England to the southwest of the US for their new album. By Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

07, Apr, 2011 @10:00 PM

Article image
The Big Chill: day two – review
Kanye West may have gone down badly and a schedule change meant many missed Katy B, but Janelle Monae and rapper Spoek Mathambo provided the wow factor, says Jude Rogers

Jude Rogers

07, Aug, 2011 @11:53 AM

Article image
Metronomy: Metronomy Forever review – an eclectic glide through the genres
(Because Music)

Phil Mongredien

22, Sep, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
NME Awards Tour 2012 - review
The influential magazine's annual awards tour shuttles four buzzed-about acts around the country, writes Graeme Virtue

Graeme Virtue

09, Feb, 2012 @6:00 PM

Article image
Metronomy: Love Letters review – Heartache with a new-wave groove
The quartet's sweet lo-fi love songs are eccentrically nuanced with a foppish air

Harriet Gibsone

06, Mar, 2014 @10:15 PM