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Nights out with Metronomy brings Love Letters from the English Riviera

True to his word during our interview last month, Joseph Mount bought his retro-fashioned pop extravaganza, Metronomy, to the Wonder Ballroom. Mount and band mates --- keyboardist/ vocalist Oscar Cash, bassist/vocalist Gbenga Adelekan, keyboardist/guitarist, drummer Anna Prior, along with a touring guest musician, treated the full house to a musical odyssey of kinetic dance pop, directly from the English Riviera.

Metronomy Live @ the Wonder Ballroom
Metronomy Live @ the Wonder Ballroom
Photo: Pat Herrera

Smartly attired in matching white sports suits with button down black shirts and white buttons, the guys looked dashing. Not to be outdone from behind her drum kit, the striking, slender red-head Prior fashioned a sleek white, sleeveless cocktail dress, and held down the back beat with authority.

Depending on which Metronomy album is your favorite, their live performance covered songs across their entire catalog and played with panache. The recently released Love Letters is a slightly reserved affair in comparison to The English Riviera or Nights Out but all the songs came to life as the band played rousing live versions that provided an electric vibrance to their set.

With the stage adorned in a 1960s pop feel, ala The Ed Sullivan Show, Mount seated himself at his retro-futuristic white keyboards, one of three the band had on stage, and started the night with the melodic organ intro of romantic pleas on Monstrous before gliding into the dreamy reflection of Month of Sundays, each tinged with a 60s pop influence. Both songs were played with sparking vitality, acting as kindling for the dance grooves to come.

Things shifted into high gear when Metronomy took everyone to The English Riviera, via the Farfisa organ jewel, The Look, and the seductive funk of She Wants. Mount took five while the band pumped it up and powered through the new instrumental, Boy Racers, and shortly returned to the stage for Call Me. The band played eight new tracks from Love Letters with infused excitement and urgency. Reflecting the finely polished sound of Metronomy records, the band was spot on and playing with unbridled enjoyment, especially the exuberant bassist, Gbenga Adelekan, who smiled gleefully as he bounced around the stage.

Mount paced the band with an eased energy throughout their animated 19-song set, including two-song encore, where Metronomy reached back for a couple of early gems, Heartbreaker and cut-loose version of the instrumental You Could Easily Have Me, in all its Munster-themed punk angst.

For all of Mount's creative perfectionism in the studio, their live show is a musical blast. The band displayed a progressive swell of finely crafted power-pop with splashes in all the right places, and had the ballroom jumping to the charismatic charm of its music mastery.

Opening the show was a nicely crafted 8-song set of the melodic folksy-psychedelia alternative rock from Australia’s Cloud Control.

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