Metronomy + Django Django @ La Cigale, Paris, 04.05.11
by Cheri Amour
Tonight’s openers Django Django and their kooky wardrobe choices should be your new art school crush: dressed up like Thee Mighty Boosh characters The Piper Twins, aka The Hitcher’s henchmen – in all black with a scattering of white geometric shapes splashed upon their person. Largely hailing from Scotland, the band are a drum-heavy mix of dub electronics and tight, four-part melodies. Creating a happy harmony between the quirky digital escapades of Hot Chip and an unexpected samba stonk, Django Django beat it just like Bo Diddley. An ominous war siren squeals out over jovial hand claps and snare snaps during ‘Wor’ to finish the band’s captivating set.
It’s funny, isn’t it? When Metronomy released their first album in 2006, many were unsure about their eccentric compositions and fidgety rhythm section, not to mention their novel outfit choices, complete with push lamps stuck to their chests like some sort of school DT project. Perhaps it was the brute pigeonholing that awkwardly placed them amid the tail end of the new rave surge … either way, despite the initial hesitation towards this Brit quartet, it seems that five years later their new album, The English Riviera, has received the warmth of the critics as much as its French counterpart.
Tonight Metronomy come complete with a new rhythm section, Gbenga Adelekan and former Lightspeed Champion drummer Anna Prior. And their set is an expansive sample of the band’s discography; from the raw brilliance of ‘You Could Easily Have Me’ (from debut debut Pip Paine) with its discordant grunge intro and woozy keyboard trills, to the Kraftwerk-esque, syncopated digi-pop of new album track ‘Corinne’. Adelekan’s elastic bass lines in ‘The Bay’ adds enough disco funk for the band to rock a groove like that of Kool And The Gang, only I can’t see frontman Joseph Mount ever referring to himself as ‘Kool’, let alone brandishing it as his title.
But this humilty is perhaps what is so charming about Metronomy. In addition to their endearing DIY light show, their sheer gratitude to the cheers and calls of adoration tonight at La Cigale is heartwarming. After an impressive (and ear-ripping) second encore, the band bound back onstage with sheepish grins and bashful waves. The electronic bloopery of ‘Radio Ladio’ is the perfect finale to a near-flawless set. The sound of a theatre full of enthused Parisians is no mean feat, and Metronomy certainly seem to have instilled a sense of ‘Rule Britannia’ in this sweat-sodden throng as they heartedly cry out in a full crowd sing-along.
Just as the band’s set-up has matured from its initial amateur wirings and circuitry, it would seem that Joseph Mount has come a long way from the solitude of his introverted bedroom tapes. There might not be a push function on the limelight, but tonight Metronomy are well and truly illuminated.