Yesterday Metronomy performed at a private happening, organized by an American fashion label. Of course you should never bite the hand that gives you free tickets, but I have to say that it was one of the most unclear events I ever attended. It must be a case of marketing 3.0, but I don’t see why you would book a band that is popular amongst college-ravers and unfashionable indie-fans, like myself, and put them in front of an audience that is presumably really into pants and doesn’t feel silly going home with a goodie bag filled with posters you expect to be decorating the bedroom walls of Holland’s next top model.
Upfront it was suggested that people were to win tickets to the event and would be flown in from all over the world. My strong suspicion is that the only people flown in were fashion label employees (mainly back-office by the looks of it) and the occasional group of fashion models. The last category having a really good time for no apparent reason, apart from having loads of camera’s pointed at them. The rest of the attendees were either flown – or rather bicycled- in from not so far away or had learned to speak Dutch on the flight over.
Instead of complaining about minor atrocities, like the fact that the girls behind the bar had to hand in their hip skinny jeans after the event, I want to thank the fashion label for bringing over the artists responsible for this year’s best album. It was my only opportunity to see Metronomy play live in Holland this year and on top of that the beer and sandwiches were free. Bud, of course, is the devil’s sewage, but Venloosch wit turns out to be pretty decent, even though it makes me think of Geert Wilders’ bleach.
I guess that Joseph Mount and his fellow band members had chosen to partake in the event and I don’t blame them. In this day and age you have to leap at every financial break you’re offered if it helps to secure your next album. Performing at a denim bash hardly compromises your artistic integrity, as long as you don’t allow the band name to be associated with the fashion label’s advertised lifestyle. In Metronomy’s case that would be implausible and disappointing. As far as I could make out Metronomy were just there to do a gig; they were all wearing their own pants, apart for Anna Prior who was wearing the most glamorous and bright green outfit imaginable. It matched her drum kit. We knew that Prior was a great and sexy drummer, last night we found out that she’s no Phill Collins. On Everything Goes My Way she was bravely singing the parts of Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls, but drumming and singing simultaneously isn’t for everyone. Of course, not being Phil Collins can only make one sexier.
Metronomy are almost as interesting to watch as they are to listen to. Mount himself posseses the English equivalent of savoir-faire, long time collaborator Oscar Cash does the best dancing-like-a-robot-from-1984 and plays a mean melodica and bassist Gbenga Adelekan was by far the coolest looking person out there yesterday night (sorry fashion models). Even against a stage-set that might seemed to be inhereted from a 90s stand-up comedian show, Metronomy looked the works
As far as I can recall, the set Metronomy played on Melt! this July didn’t differ that much from last night’s. The band were certainly not going through the motions, but the difference between last night’s performance and that at Melt!, in front of over two thousand dance-crazed and drug-happy fans of electronic music, was obvious. The energy level was a tad lower, especially during irresistible arm-raisers like Heartbreaker and Radio Ladio (You can compare last nights recording to the one Willem made at Melt!.) The Denim people seemed to know and love recent classics like The Bay, the Look and Corrine, but looking around last night I was the only fool singing along to the catchiest song lyrics of the year: ‘I got my heart tied up now with a boom and bang/I’m not gonna fire you again 4x/I’ve got my heart tied, I’ve got my heart in a bind/She just wants to dance all the time 4x’