Metronomy @ O2 Academy, Bristol, 24/03/14

MetronomyA chilly Monday night in Bristol: it's a cold, eventless affair with very little cheer. At the Academy, however, there’s plenty of cheer and a positive carnival going on. The reason for the carnival: Metronomy have stopped off in town on their victory lap, following the recent success of their first top 10 album, Love Letters.

The four-piece open their Bristol show with three tracks from their aforementioned latest album. "Monstrous" provides a pleasant, if slow burning opening track. The opening chorus is, however, most notable for the band being able to showcase their gorgeous luminescent keyboards at an early stage.

This low key relaxed opening is to be expected from a chilled out, synth pop group such as Metronomy. There’s nothing sedate about what follows, though. As "Month of Sundays" approaches its climax, a raucous circle pit is breaking out in front of Metronomy. The audience know exactly what to expect from the remainder of the gig: "The Look" succeeds "Love Letters" and an exhausting, yet glorious indie disco is now in full swing amidst most of the lower level of the usually cavernous and emotionless Academy.

The synth poppers' best received material of the night comes from Love Letters and 2011's Mercury nominated The English Riviera. A run of songs from Nights Out after "Love Letters" provides an enjoyable, but less intense phase of the gig.

Metronomy is mainly lead singer Joe Mount's project. Yet whilst Mount's keyboard shines the brightest throughout the gig, there are moments when the rest of the band excels. Gebenga Adelekan is faultless on the bass, whilst Oscar Cash sticks mostly to the background, but ensures every song is instrumentally rich. All three of the men in the band of course all look equally resplendant in matching red blazers. Beyond this Anna Prior barely misses a beat on the drums, even whilst taking centre stage on "Everything Goes My Way".

Metronomy conclude the main part of their set with arguably their most popular song, "The Bay". With what has gone before, I know exactly what’s coming, as the song reaches its euphoric chorus. There’s not quite as much energy in the crowd at this point, perhaps due to sheer exhaustion from the intensity of the seventy minutes of live music gone before. Despite that, in all directions almost every single person in the sold out Academy still has the energy to dance down in some form or another to "The Bay".

The crowd summons one last scrap of energy for the encore. "Some Written" builds spectacularly from just Joe Mount initially being on stage to each band member joining him over the course of the song and adding another layer of music to the track. "Heartbreaker" sparks another circle pit amongst most of the lower level of the venue; Metronomy might not be a particularly heavy band, but there is little doubt that the crowd are going to give these shy electro poppers the reception of rock stars.


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