So this is my first gig in a long time, in fact it is probably over a year since I have had the opportunity to go to one. Going to a gig on your own is always a very strange affair. You kind of stand around hoping that you will bump into somebody you actually know. I think that you actually go on the premise that that’s what’s going to happen. Luckily the venue offered me a balcony ticket so I managed to hide away my loneliness on one of the pews up there.
On arrival the stage is looking really crowded, but one thing that was intriguing me was the cloud backdrop. It was actually making me reminisce about the classic electro track from The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds.
First up are support act Virginia Wing. A female fronted 5 piece. They started with an epic shoegaze intro with pounding drums and synth sounds which was enough to grab anyones attention. Their genre was very difficult to pinpoint to be honest, and although there were bits of twee pop in their sound it was matched with driving in your face instrumentals that could easily start a mosh pit. Listening to their 30 minute set, was comparable to looking at a multitude of colours, there were darker shades to their sounds but it was matched by bright colours, almost like an acid trip that went wrong. This was a very interesting set with elements of classic goth band Siouxsie and the Banshees coming through. I am actually really glad I came early to check them out and they are certainly a band to keep an eye out for.
This was an evening that seemed to have been planned right down to the last glimmer of every single light bulb. Everything ran to time perfectly. Just before Metronomy took to the stage at 9pm the 1969 classic Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In by The 5th Dimension came on and it actually felt really poignant in the lead up to what I could only describe as something magical. As soon as the band hit the stage, from the dark the dawn started to rise, and I mean quite literally – elements of very subtle pink and blue lighting hit the cloud backdrop and neon pink lit up Joseph Mounts keyboard as they went into Monstrous from their latest album Love Letters.
Dressed in their matching outfits we were greeted with 3 tracks from their current record, with lead track Love Letters making a really big impact with the crowd. There is still very much a sense of love and appreciation from the band and this came through with Joseph’s first address to the crowd “We’re happy to be here on a Friday night with you especially in this room.” and driving straight into crowd pleaser The Look from their last album The English Riviera.
There was definitely a sense of accomplishment when the lead singer told the crowd a story about the last time that they played The Institute. “When we last came here I came upstairs only to be told that we were playing downstairs so glad to be here and playing this room it’s rather lovely isn’t it.” The set to this point had comprised of a good mix from the bands previous 3 albums which I was pleased about.
As with any gig there were a number of standout tracks for me in the main set. I was extremely impressed with all of the new material, and considering it hasn’t been out very long it went down really well. For me The Look, Holiday, Radio Ladio and Everything Goes My Way (with the goreous added vocal of drummer Anna Prior) were the big tracks up to this point. The light show during recent track I’m Aquarius, although subtle, was creating some fantastically stunning silhouettes of the entire band over the clouds in the background. It just grabbed you over the finespun and understated tones of the track.
Bass player Olugbenga Adelekan was certainly one of the show stealers as far as I was concerned. The energy that he displayed from the very beginning of the set was just fantastic and I loved the way that he just made the stage look really busy at times when it wasn’t. The whole band wanted us to have a proper Friday night out and there was a great mix of music, dancing and humour as well (one great quote was “We listened to the Black Eyed Peas before coming out!”). When Joseph officially declared it the weekend and they went into the brilliant The Bay you just had to get moving.
The encore started with the brilliant Some Written and each band member came out individually to rapturous applause with Olugbenga getting a wild reception. By this point I felt that there could only be one more track to play but in fact we got two. The huge indie club hit Heartbreaker which the whole venue blew up to, and the beautifully crafted Most Immaculate Haircut to end on. As I said before this was a very well planned, carefully executed and most definitely magical set from a band that delivers fantastic indie electronica.
Month of Sundays
Everything Goes My Way
The Most Immaculate Haircut
Check out our Spotify playlist of the set list below:
Review – Imran Khan
Photos – Steve Roche