Metronomy; Adventures In The Beetroot Field Vs Walk The Night, Amersham Arms, Saturday January 12

Potty-mouthed party time from thenext kings of the dancefloor...

Metronomy, Adventures In The Beetroot, Fields Vs Walk the Night, Amersham Arms, London, January 12, 2008. Pic: Sonia Melot
“Get off the stage, you ugly cunts!” You’d expect this lingo from Gallows’ tattooed head honcho Frank Carter post-onstage skull-cracking injury, not from the mouth of a choreograph-loving dance-rock mover and maker. But it seems the crowd of New Cross neo-ravers are chomping at the bit a little too much tonight. They’ve gotten to Joseph Mount – aka Mr Metronomy – and he’s not a happy camper. But would you be? The sound’s just cut out for the umpteenth time as yet another wave of flashing, sunglassed, glowstick-pumping teens swamp the stage in epileptic-fit dance mode. This may be an early morning partyathon but Mount and his band of two are professionals. Whether doing landing-a-Boeing-747 arm moves or bashing their T-shirts’ globe lights in unison like out-of-space gorillas hunting for mates they may look odd, but they’ve practised. Hard.

Still, though Metronomy take their live shows seriously, that’s not to say they aren’t fun. The trio’s calculator-rock-punk-funk-electro-blimpoid-whatever music is meant to make people dance, as long as it’s on the floor in front of them. And most of the gum-chewing art-school kids here abide by those unwritten rules, twitching and shoulder-jabbing robot-style in time to the wicky-wah-wah beats’n’bleeps. Showcasing tracks from their forthcoming second album, it’s clear that, although most of the androgynous guitar sounds throbbing from the stage are new, they’re pretty genius. The mid-set stonker of ‘Let’s Have A Party’ sounds like a surprisingly confrontational Hot Chip tickling the Pet Shop Boys. Plodding along to begin with, when the camp vocals waddle into a chorus of squealing groans and chainsawing synths it becomes obvious Mr Mount’s a musical mastermind. And the crowd agrees, surging onstage twice and prompting a volley of expletives from the exasperated frontman along with a promise of, “Whoever gets off the stage first will win a prize!”

It’s utter chaos, but nothing could prepare the already pumped party pack for their own uncontrollable reactions to that song. As when the computer motherboard cyber whirr of ‘You Could Easily Have Me’ grumbles into action and grabs each and every crowd member by the scruff of their necks, shaking them to dance like Oompa-Loompas who’ve OD’d on E numbers, the reality that Metronomy aren’t as big as Daft Punk seems like a barking concept. No, scrap that. It is a barking concept, because Metronomy piss all over Daft Punk and their French electro-isms and laugh in the faces of those early-noughties synth wunderkinds Les Rhythmes Digitales. Why? Because they’re more interesting. They’re better. And they swear.

Emma Edmondson

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