Hmm, ok! Where does one start?! Metronomy just off the back end of lyrical supremacy, with NME spurting their usual paid guff and staining the whites of said bands they are supposed to be reviewing, ….they’re on a leash; a sickening political leash, just like most of the major publications. There is always a great colossal yay or nay when it comes to critical journalism, as nobody has the balls these days to express their actual words, …and instead leave it to the incestual hearsay, fearing the views of the outside perspective will be too radical.
There is an anticipatory build-up pre-gig; slap-dash drink preparations’ and decisions to be made; bulk orders of drinks being bought at the bar, and a general mish-mashed cacophony of verbal acclimations being made about the general excitement of tonight.
Metronomy are an “alright” band…. Okay?!. They are far from fantastic, and with all the critical acclaim having been lauded in their direction the past couple of years it’s perhaps the jadedness from so many outlets that offers a sense that tonight is going to be somewhat of a letdown. With quotes taken from reviews which is so profoundly up their own arse–“they are on the verge of once again staking a claim for becoming everybody’s new favourite band with a fresh collection of lo-fi but heartfelt pop”–it’s not surprising that so many individuals are taking a back seat in the ‘apple-polishing, shamelessly lachrymose, brown-nosing, (just look what happens to many a band that are being packaged and force-fed in a commodity driven “you must like this band as they are bloody awesome” fashion). Some people like to think for themselves, and these are presumably individuals who avoid scheduled Saturday night terrestrial television.
The Glasgow o2ABC is absolutely jam-packed and there are moments of surreal contemplation; with unanswerable questions running circularly, such as “have this band really merited the over-enthused reactions from crowd based on the performance of a few mediocre pop songs” – and “are we really watching the same band tonight?!”.
The first three tracks which were all from 2014s Love Letters, consecutively playing ‘Monstrous’, ‘Month of Sundays’ and ‘Love Letters’, each of them sounding rather flat without the crowd managing to notice as the buzz had already consumed their opinions of the gig before the band even stepped onstage. Fortunately, things pick up after the somewhat subdued first couple of tracks, which didn’t quite amount to anything indicative of the suggestive onstage chemistry.
Tracks from The English Riviera fared much much better, including ‘This Town’, ‘The Bay’, and ‘Some Written’, with the band tightening things up onstage creating a sense of energy compounded with Joseph Mount’s slightly more vocal dominant tracks. It is when these elements are combined that there is a more dense and fuller sound that does the job of filling the capaciously spaced venue with bass player Gbenga Adelekan standing out–as was the case with numerous tracks–and providing superb backing vocals. This was followed by a weak 80s sounding ‘She Wants’, again with the standout being the thick chorused bass work.
For anybody could have known–it sounded like the gig had been hijacked by the elusive German electronic outfit Kraftwerk–for the performance of ‘Boy Racer’, the track could be potentially great if it weren’t so afraid to come out of it’s little fragile shell. Tracks from Nights Out, past the threshold of mediocrity including ‘Radio Ladio’, and ‘Hearbreaker’, sounding like Bloc Party playing through vintage lo-fi gear.
Unfortunately, the new tracks were totally eclipsed by the more structurally sound The English Riviera, but regardless of that the crowd seemed to love every second of the gig, so in that sense if was a success.
Walking away from a gig with a surging feeling of underwhelming discontent is does not bode too well if there are others with synonymous feelings, but that didn’t appear to be the case. Until some critics are stripped off of the political leash, then I guess it’s onwards and upwards for Metronomy.