live review

Metronomy, SFBH - Wellington

Metronomy, SFBH - Wellington

October 07 2009
The San Francisco Bath House, Wellington

Reviewed by Courtney Sanders
12th April 2010

Disco 2000. An English Song for and English Generation by an English Icon. Appropriated so strongly by a generation, the Cocker-penned hit was a similarly appropriate description, if in moniker only, for English new wavers Metronomy and openers Bang! Bang! Eche! when they let glow sticks and pop hits fly in Wellington recently.

Aren’t Bang! Bang! Eche!, the underage globetrotters and sensations of both CMJ and SXSW just too talented for-their-age-to-be-true? But then I guess it’s their total nonchalance about being ca-razy on and off stage and their subsequent ferocious beer-slinging, vocoder-wielding live sets that, um, set them apart from the competition. Down one guitarist since the last time I saw them (read: highlight of Homegrown) the quartet were back in Wellington to blow another headliner out of the water. Except that they sort of didn’t. I don’t know whether it was the fact that it looked like vocalist Zach Doney was having to do far too much programming work for his body slinging, crowd diving good, or whether they were knackered from some fairly extensive both national and international touring, but they were - and I never thought I’d say this about the Cantabrians – lack-lustre. Nope, not a PA dive in sight. Sure the songs were still one tight, post-punk party at a time, particularly final track and single ‘4 to the Floor’, there just wasn’t the physical party presence to match. I’m sure their soon-to-be-released Sonic Death Cuntttt EP will prove myself wrong and right anyone put off by said performance.

I was fully unsure about Metronomy, and whether it was their forgettable nature when surrounded by so many similar English counterparts during their inception, or the fact that eight months ago they came to our shores touring with The, um, Teenagers I’m unsure. Either way they had M.O.R status in my books. However, I immediately discounted my earlier pigeonholing when they arrived, full band in tow (reasonably recent development), with no neon in sight apart from those circular sonar lights that adorned every members shoulder and were connected to the bass for the remainder of the show. Amazing idea executed perfectly I say. As for the set? It was a rampage of previous hits with more dedication – obviously, considering the line up change – to the rocking out part, which seemed to suit the unsettlingly underage crowd just fine, particularly in the handclap worthy scenarios of singles like ‘Radio Ladio’ and ‘My Heart Rate Rapid’. With eyes semi-blinded I stumbled out of SFBH that night with three cornerstones for Metronomy; solar lights, handclaps and, even though fairly musically dissimilar, Pulp, and if I was a band, and people leaving my show had those things in their mind, I would be pretty pumped.

 



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