Our online editor Andrea Loftus had her Monday blues truly blown away by the iconic electronic sounds of London legends Metronomy.
The O2 Academy seemed less beckoning than my bed on a dreary, rainy Monday evening. However, the promise of Metronomy’s melding music magic was enough to get me to face the elements.
The support band Squid were … a lot. Firstly their front man was on both vocals and drums, a unique spin on the traditional band set up. On top of that, their songs were a confusing mix between the time-warp, Diamond Dogs era Bowie and a drunk lad who’d found a mic. I have to give it to them though, their style definitely unique, a specific track ‘Houseplants’ sounded as if the lyrics were fresh from a 4am instalment in one’s iPhone notes. Nevertheless, the musical back section enhanced by a variety of instruments you’d find in a primary school music box made it clear why Metronomy had brought them along – Squid were fresh, they were different, they were truly one of a kind.
I can’t say I wasn’t relieved when the stars of the night finally took to the stage, dressed to the nines in their pastel boiler suits, welcoming us to “the most perfect Monday in the history of Leeds’. Opening with ‘The Bay’ and ‘Wedding Bells’, the five-some knew how to please their crowd. Basked in the smoky hues of the primary colours, Metronomy and the audience moved as one, blending together in this pitch perfect palette.
The set list was a thing of wonder, hosting fan favourites like ‘Corinne’ midway through for a nod of nostalgia but springing into the maccabee-eque melodies of ‘Whitsand Bay’ from their latest album Metronomy Forever to keep us on our toes. The album is packed to the brim with hits, and makes a pretty suave merch slogan, as well as a drum skin adapted slightly to say ‘Anna Forever’ for their fire haired drummer and all round icon.
The inclusion of Anna Prior’s vocals is the crème de la crème in the tracks, a beautiful accompaniment to Joseph Mount’s rounding and rolling sounds. The female tones undercut the lower melodies in ‘The Oasis’, the vibrant sonic scale providing the perfect time for a dance spot.
As they guided us through their discography one by one, we were blessed with ‘I’m Aquarius’ and the 80’s energy provided by punctuating drums in ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’ – the closest to a 2019 ‘Funky Town’ we’re going to get. As well as gifting us throwbacks like the iconic ‘The Look’, Metronomy reminded us their lyricism is articulate and at times kooky as hell. The romantic sentiments layered throughout ‘Sex Emoji’, ‘Upset My Girlfriend’ and the wonderful ‘Love Letters’ set the tone for some romantic musings that led to a relatively unnecessary breakout of PDA.
Taking a moment to talk about our lovely Northern city, the band front man recounts their ‘long and lustrous history with’ Leeds, and how grateful they are the crowd came out ‘in such numbers’ and for ‘being so kind to us’. As a dramatic musical interval involving two parallel pianos uniting and separating in a futuristic smoke machine montage pushed my flu-ey brain to the edge – it was time to bid farewell.
Metronomy make melodies just waiting for Abba to put lyrics to them, they are a wacky and worldly union of fun and finesse. Their inventive take on music and live shows is precisely why they draw crowds from all over even on a drab Monday. “Traditionally Mondays are shit…it can still get shit”, but with the magic melodies of Metronomy ringing in my ears, I don’t think this particular Monday could ever be considered anything over than iconic.