Live Review: Metronomy, NewVillager, NoddyPosted by Bebe Besch
The Metronomy Stage (all photos by Bebe Besch)
Seattle’s finally begun appreciating one of Britain’s most promising pop acts, the electrifying Metronomy. The band opened with “We Broke Free,” preparing the crowd for their heavier dance tunes. Actually having a packed crowd that could dance to their songs was a first for them in Seattle. Front man and creator Joseph Mount told the crowded audience, “Last time we played in Seattle, there were about 1/100th of the amount of people that there are tonight, maybe less”. Well, Seattle has caught on. The group has gone through transformations over the many years they have been in existence, but certainly a portion of their hype here was found after releasing their newest full length The English Riviera. The band played nearly all of their songs from this new record, which features more vocals than previous albums and conceptually driven electro pop.
The new album also helps to define characteristics of each member of Metronomy. The four-piece seemed to each have their own particular identity on stage, which is seldom so easily noticed in a sea of bands with front men/woman dominating. Although most of the vocals and stage banter were delivered by Mount, he did not hesitate to call attention to the other members. Many times he asked the crowd to focus on his keyboard-playing partner – Oscar Cash, who also played saxophone and an air flute throughout their set. While handling all of these instruments, his performance was met with quirky vocals and dancing amongst cheeky interactions with Mount. The band’s gorgeous and classy female drummer, Anna Prior, rocked her duties with ease. She also lent her voice for backup duties, but arose as lead vocals for one of the groups’ encore songs, and their latest single, “Everything Goes My Way”. Finally there is Gbenga Adelekan, the newest bassist for the band who reeks with his suave exuberance. He also could be found singing secondary parts during their performance, all with smile attached. Mount could be found at the center of them all, leading the entertaining set.
Matched with their uplifting and satirical songs, Metronomy brought forth a delightful set. There were pre-choreographed dance moves, which sometimes included synchronized pointing at one another during a song, a huge backdrop with comical paintings of each band member, and their famous push-lights attached to their chests – which are now synched to light up with their music automatically. Maybe before Seattle just wasn’t ready to accept that Metronomy was serious about not being too serious. While their music is cleverly written in formations and hooks that can get stuck on loop in your head all day, you can tell that a primary accomplishment for this band is to make sure their crowds have a good time – as everyone at their show at Neumos on Tuesday certainly did!
1. We Broke Free
2. Love Underlined
3. Back On The Motorway
5. She Wants
7. The Bay
8. You Could Easily Have Me
9. The End of You Too
11. The Look
12. A Thing For Me
13. On Dancefloors
14. Some Written
15. Everything Goes My Way
16. Radio Ladio
Every once in a while, you come across an opener that you’ve got no expectations for going into their set, but ultimately you’re left stunned by an incredible live performance and thus a converted fan. This was the case with 2nd act NewVillager. Like the acts they shared their stage with, electro influences were present in this performance, but what was refreshingly different was their integration of rock guitar which pulsed with vigor throughout. Additionally, vocals paired between members Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini added a sophistication to their otherwise downright well-written pop songs. Perhaps this avant-garde feeling that engulfed their performance was found because of the band member’s backgrounds being multi-media artists. There is a specific mythology connected to their work, be it in the form of sound, symbols, drawings, photographs or film. In Seattle, their set was created from what looked like red, white & blue painted sheets that were strategically hung, including a line of fabric, which ran from their drummer across the stage. Their performance was well executed, highly interesting and above all, left a feeling of importance. NewVillager’s performance felt like a part of some bigger portion of work, like the tip of an iceberg, which lead the audience to wonder what behind-the-scenes work was involved that somehow lead this great band to the stage at Neumos to perform for us.
Noddy shocked the audience in many fashions as first to the stage. Similar to Metronomy, it seemed that each of the five members at one point took over singing lead, which at times lead to an on and off stage tension. Most exciting about each member bringing their own flare to the stage was that their songs were also met with the mixing of genres. There were rapped verses, as well as raspy rock ‘n’ roll wailing, all laid over electro beat work made without a live drummer. The lack of audience attendance was no match for Noddy’s interactivity, as members jumped into the open space on the floor to try to lead what they hoped to be a dance party. When their effort wasn’t equally matched, they still took everyone’s attention by getting audience members involved with tambourine help, or rolling around on the floor. Passionate energy was never far from each member as they took turns crawling between each other’s legs, performing from different stage props or kissing one another on the forehead between lyrics.
See more photos and videos from the exciting show below: