Metronomy review – winsome English funk that says please and thank you

Brixton Academy, London
Joseph Mount delivers his idiosyncratic brand of polite lounge-pop with bewitching precision

On Metronomy’s last album, Summer 08 (2016), Joseph Mount reminisced about the time just before the breakthrough success of their second album, Nights Out (2008). In those intervening years, Mount has shifted from bedroom producer to playing sold-out Brixton Academy shows. This tour is a reminder to fans, and perhaps to Mount himself, that Metronomy are one of the most clever British singles bands of the last 10 years. From lush odes to the beauty of the south coast to nostalgic lounge-pop, Mount has created his own idiosyncratic brand of wistful and winsome English funk.

Watch the official video for Metronomy’s Night Owl

On stage tonight the group are sharply dressed in gleaming white (only bassist Olugbenga has forgotten the memo and turned up in a snazzy green gown). And, like their outfits, there is a cool precision to what they do. At times it almost seems too polite. Sure, it is immaculately controlled and pristine, but you keep waiting for the moment they’ll cut loose. Of course, parts of the show glow with a brightness to match their outfits. The Bay is all propulsive, watery synths and elastic funk. The “shoop-doop-doop”s of I’m Aquarius remain bewitching. There is even an outing for old favourite My Heart Rate Rapid. And The Look has taken on a life of its own; an anthem that in a parallel universe would have been No 1 for four years. Tonight, its fairground synth line is screamed back at the band as people in the audience scramble to climb on friends’ shoulders.

But reminders that Mount is more studio savant than rock star are never far away. Before Love Letters, he tells the crowd he has forgotten his percussion glove, drolly proclaiming: “For you London, I’m gonna get a blister.”

• At Liverpool Sound City festival, 27 May.


Danny Wright

The GuardianTramp

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