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Metronomy

Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
4 stars
There's something that feels scarily like you've gate-crashed an
episode of hedonistic teen drama Skins at this fourteens and over show,
such is the sing-along fervour that Joseph Mount's squeaky-clean
electro-pop dervishes are greeted with. It's easy to see why,
especially after the too eager to please but increasingly powerful
estuarised indie hip hop of support act Ghostpoet, whose current BBC
6Music favourite Survive It is shaping up to be an anthem for the
twenty-first century dole queue kids.

Metronomy themselves are appealingly geeky and unerringly polite in
their demeanour, even as they serve up a jaunty brand of left-field
suburban pop as demonstrated on their recent third album, The English
Riviera. It's an angular sound that continues a line from XTC through
to Field Music, but which live becomes a musclebound punk-funk
maelstrom powered by Gbenga Adelekan's slap bass guitar and Anna
Prior's crisp drum beats that underscore Mount's guitar and Oscar
Cash's playfully burbling laptop-free keyboard sounds.

At times all this veers off into a series of low-attention span
instrumentals, the restless time changes of which recall Battles, and
are what really gets the teens jumping beyond the onstage
shape-throwing, co-ordinated salutes and flashing chest-lights that
accompany the more frantic moments. Recent single The Look is a little
wiggy symphony that bounces along for all its worth, though its the far
moodier She Wants, for which the lights are suitably dimmed, that is
Metronomy's finest moment to date. Once that's out the way, Mount and
co rock out in the nicest possible sense of the word, doing it for
themselves as much as the kids in a way that combines frenzied fun with
charm.

The Herald, April 27th 2011

ends

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