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Metronomy - Nights Out, Lights On at Southampton's Joiner's Arms

1st January 2010

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Pulsating lights cut through the grimy surroundings of the Joiners Arms, piercing the oppressive heat like a ray of joy. Metronomy have arrived. But before all that…Metronomy

I’d never been to the Joiners before, and well, it certainly has charm. Stickers for long forgotten (or never remembered) bands cling to the walls, while memories of triumphs past (Coldplay, Editors, erm KT Tunstall…) adorn the upper echelons ofthe bar. The room is already filling for the unknown first support act and by the time I find a spot the second support act arrive.

I’d never heard of Connan Mockasin before, and I’m not sure if I will again. Dressed in a jumper my friend assured me was from the women’s section in H&M, Connanand his cronies played what I can only describe as music for a disturbingly innocent soft porn film. His strangely childlike, high pitched voice was combined with a hazy backing that could have sound-tracked Boogie Nights. Nevertheless, final track ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ (!!!) was enjoyable, even if just for the shear oddness.

Onwards then, to the main event. Largely taking from their brilliant sophomore effort Nights Out, Joseph Mount et al. open with instrumental ‘On the Motorway’,a wordless wonder that yanked the crowd out from the Mockasin-made haze. From then on the band’s energy never drops, all angular guitars and jerky shoulders. ‘My Heart Rate Rapid’, with its high-pitched refrain, sets the tone: exuberant. This is a band clearly having a blast, a beating organism, a well oiled machine, and any other clichés you want to throw into the ring. From the smattering of news songs, taken from upcoming album The English Riviera, the stand out was new single ‘She Wants’, a brooding electro-pop number that throbs like the band’s best songs do. Alive saxophone on ‘Back on the Motorway’ highlights the bands commitment to having fun. Each song could be a single, and it is a travesty that Metronomy haven’t (yet) crossed over. The aforementioned pulsating lights synchronize to great affecton ‘Holiday’, a gimmick that sums up the jubilance of the band. A final trio of crowd favourites, ‘On Dancefloors’, ‘A Thing For Me’ (a personal highlight, perhaps as it captures everything that is great about Metronomy; the spazzed out instruments working in unison with the piercing vocals, all the while being as catchy as hell) and a euphoric ‘Radio Ladio’ bring the night to a close, causing one fellow audience member to rave it up like he was back at the Hacienda in the 90s.

I hope they return soon, to an even bigger audience: this is as fun a live show as you will see. It’s hard not to be infected by the grins the band display on their faces, as if they can sense it is their time. The future looks bright for Metronomy.

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