O2 Academy Brixton – March 28th
Metronomy are concluding their set with the ‘The Most Immaculate Haircut’, a deliciously woozy offcut from recent album Love Letters, and nobody seems particularly fussed. In fact, only mere fistfuls of the crowd have acknowledged the tentative unveiling of the band’s most recent material all evening, but Joe Mount appears unfazed; despite triumphantly packing Brixton Academy to its rafters, his latest endeavors indicate a swift sidestep away from the lager-swigging lads that make themselves known during the polished bluster of ‘The Look’ and ‘The Bay’.
It’s welcome too, as Metronomy are at their most charming, at their most wistfully endearing, when their understated quirks shuffle to centre stage. Am I the only one who remembers the pound shop push lights adorning the chest? Or when Nights Out-era sets meant you were never more than three minutes away from a barmy melodica solo? A smattering of those early tracks do remain, ‘Radio Ladio’ nor ‘Holiday’, unsurprisingly, are met with the hysteria that they deserve, but not even swathes of audience chatter can derail the strutting funk of ‘Boy Racers’, a sickeningly infectious newbie, and the gorgeous boy/girl refrain of ‘Everything Goes My Way’, Mount and Anna Prior cooing affectionately over sultry backing vocals and subtle guitar.
The staging, presumably masterminded by Mount in intricate detail, is as slick as the musical accompaniment. Draped in matching burgundy attire, the band are bordered by rolling clouds that flood generously with vivid colour, pastel flecks of sunbaked orange and dreamy baby pink enveloping onlookers within a nostalgic haze when every simmering instrumental or explosive chorus begins to delicately unfold.
A disappointing amount of the crowd seem to appreciate what Metronomy have accomplished here tonight – fortunately, in Joe Mount, we have an astounding talent and, flanked by a fearless rhythm section, their upward trajectory shows little sign of slowing down. Let’s shake those fake fans off first though, eh?