Gig review: Metronomy, Oxford Art Factory, 23/11/2010

metronomy

It’s not often a DJ set comes close to surpassing the headline act, but Olugbenga – aka Metronomy bassist and vocalist – definitely hit the mark with mixes that defied imagination and possibility. Where else would you hear Christina Aguilera’s Genie In A Bottle over the riff from The Strokes’ Hard To Explain and the clapping beat of Bloc Party’s The Prayer?

A generous smattering of No Doubt, Michael Jackson and a sly mention of Dizzee Rascal and it was practically obscene not to be on the dancefloor. If the crowd wasn’t in the party mood by the end of Olugbenga’s set, maybe they should’ve just gone home.

World’s End Press were, for want of a better word, funky. Plenty of bass, asymmetrical floppy haircuts and matching bowtie outfits meant they knew their way around a stage and the audience lapped up their disco infused songs.

The new and improved Metronomy (four members instead of three, two new) arrived in the dark, dome lights strapped to their chests which sporadically burst out with light during the set. The band teased the dance ready audience with lesser know material first but quickly hit their stride with My Heart Beat Rapid causing a ruckus and A Thing For Me sparking a mini-rave complete with staccato lighting.

Frontman Joseph Mount appeared shy at first but warmed to his fans, inserting polite banter between songs and the obligatory ‘How you feeling Sydney, Australia.’ Heartbreaker saw the crowd clap along in time and sing over the band with sprightly energy, creating a messy, sweaty vibe that would carry on through the night.

The songs transformed live, sounding more open and spacious than on record where tight beats seem to be the call. Though improvisation was minimal, a carefree attitude emanated from the band onstage and invigorated the audience, as Holiday’s grinding opening guitar riff invited shouts before pumped fists raised themselves above the crowd during the chorus of ‘so you want me to yourself/well you must know that won’t happen’.

After a short set the band left the stage to calls for Radio Ladio and upon returning obliged with a short and sweet rendition that had everyone spelling out the nonsensical words with more effort than should be mustered on a weeknight.

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