Metronomy at O2 Academy Leeds - Review
Metronomy made their return at last to Leeds, to the great delight of both old fans and newcomers drawn along by the excitement of their place among the Live at Leeds headline acts of 2018. Due to the flooding problems in Stylus, the show was unfortunately never to proceed, but it is safe to say this – along with the addition of a resplendent 17-track LP in September, Metronomy Forever –formed potent incentive for crowds to flock to the O2 Academy to catch a glimpse of the eclectic electronic heroes of Totnes.
As Metronomy take to the stage the excitement is palpable – old favourites The Bay and Love Letters earn the leaping screaming crowds and moshes in the front, ensconced as always in the deep striking basslines and earnest harmonies that won them their crowns. The new addition to the show of Salted Caramel Ice Cream represents some of the most joyous and playful upbeat dance moments of the band's history. A much as you are looking forward to it, as one of the standout songs on the record, live it is as if it’s the first time it graced your ears. People are laughing, grinning, and jumping – it’s very alive.
The array of moods set in the show make it a very Odyssean journey. Disarming slower numbers like I'm Aquarius provide striking and intimate pauses from the action such as that of Corinne, which swells and intensifies in its own flirty and dramatic way. One of the most genuinely charming aspects of seeing Metronomy over the years is perceiving how much of a family they all seem. The focus switches organically between each member, collectively knowing when to give each other space in the soundscape to really lean into a solo or melody, producing excellent moments such as Anna Prior's vocal delivery. You feel very connected with a band like Metronomy. Where there are instrumental pauses you'll see them dancing along, like a much cooler version of your Dad in their own charming way. You feel right where you need to be because you're enjoying the show as an audience in just the same way they are, despite them being its producers. A bridge like that is often difficult to cross, but Metronomy, unsurprisingly, have us along as if we're right there with them on stage.
One of Metronomy’s most interesting and charmed qualities has always been how odd they can come across in their studio releases and how this is just a central part of how they create music. They embrace the weird and wonderful and shape-shift it into something endearingly exciting. An album like Nights Out could always leave you wondering exactly what kind of show this would be like live – it feels like it could go in so many different directions. The transformation that they wield when they take their music to the stage is something masterful, connecting with you in such a way that with every you see them you think of their music anew. It can be raucous, intimate, haunting, unbeatably optimistic, funny and truly memorable. It’s a show you should seriously consider getting yourself along to while they're still on the road.
Words by Harry Minoprio
Metronomy played Leeds O2 Academy on Monday 11th November.