Amid fresher's week madness
Metronomy - Live At The Leadmill, Sheffield

When driving into Sheffield you would be forgiven for thinking Freshers’ Week had taken over the whole city. Sexy doctors and nurses topple over in alleyways, but near the Leadmill it’s surprisingly quiet for a Thursday night. That is until you set foot inside, where an aura of sweat, booze and anticipation fills the room. Metronomy played here a few years ago and only to a handful of fans at the time – a lot has changed since then.

With a new line up and a Mercury Music prize-nominated album in ‘The English Riviera’, Metronomy’s effortless beats are everywhere, oozing into indie discos and hipster cafes. Tonight should all be about their new record, but despite a personnel shift, it’s the group’s early material that shines through, breaking new ground where they were previously known as a Klaxons rip-off.

Now bassist Gbenga throws shapes automatically to his own funky basslines, threatening to steal the limelight as another saxophone solo kicks in. The push lights blink furiously on each band member’s chest as the laid back synths of ‘Heartbreaker’ kick-starts a retro rave. Vocals remain minimal in favour of rhythmic high hats and wavering electronics until ‘The Bay’, which manages to bring a bit of summer into the sweltering room. Fans burst into life as ‘The Look’ moves into that smooth keyboard pulse with lead singer Joe allowing the slick rhythms to take over. As the freshers explode, celebrating the start of the best year of their lives, Metronomy are left marvelling at theirs. After making one of the best British albums of the year we can’t wait for 2012.

Words by Ruth Offord
Photo by Andy Cook

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