Having had Metronomy’s latest album The English Riviera pretty much on repeat since its release two weeks ago, this gig came with much anticipation on my part as well as anyone who managed to get their hands on these “golden” tickets.
Support was supplied by Keyboard Choir and Ghost Poet. The former took the stage first and began their set to a room not even a quarter full as headliners Metronomy weren’t due on for another 2 hours. This certainly worked against them and for this reason their set never really got going. The harmony of the four keyboards worked well at times but the laptop, looped drums didn’t feel right. A special mention has to go to the keyboard player whose raunchy dance moves connoted a more emotional connection to his instrument than is healthy (it looked like he was shagging it if that was at all unclear).
As the room continued to fill, Obaro Ejimiwe (Ghost Poet) bounced to center stage. Many may have been put off by his trilby, wayfarer combo but doubters were soon won-over by such truthful and clever lyrics as “other MCs want to talk about crime/but that ain’t me”. Despite this being his debut O2 Academy performance, no nerves were to be seen and this attitude shows he is one to keep an eye on for the future. Check out his debut album Peanut Butter And Melancholy Jam even if it’s just for that amazing title.
When Metronomy began their set at 9.45 (what is this!?!) they were met with a very hopeful and packed audience. What followed seemed to be somewhat of a blur. As bassist Gbenga started up the anthemic ‘Heartbreaker’, the crowd evoked images of a possessed Frankenstein’s monster awakening as the crowd were whipped into a frenzy that lasted for almost an hour.
Almost every song from The English Riviera was played and even lead singer, Jo was impressed by the audience’s ability to sing back practically every word, exclaiming, “We’ve missed you Oxford!” ‘The Look’ was the highlight from the new album and foregrounded every member’s complete mastery of their instruments especially Oscar Cash on the keyboard who nailed every hook of the set.
‘My Heart Rate Rapid’ was the last track before an encore of ‘Radio Ladio’ and ‘Love Underlined’ was played. The encore was an amazing end to a perfect gig. As everyone left the venue, drenched in sweat, battered and bruised, the line on everyone’s tongues was “RA…DI…OOOO!”
Be sure to watch Metronomy on Jools Holland next week and get yourself a copy of The English Riviera, I promise you it’ll be worth every penny.
Photography by Tomasz Raz