O2 Academy in Leeds was almost full to capacity as the night began with a set from The Proper Ornaments. They seemed to be in a similar vein to Temples, drawing heavily on influences from both the nineties and sixties. Their vocals had shades of Mansun while the instrumentation had hints of The Kinks and Velvet Underground. Their relaxed set built towards a big climactic ending.
Metronomy then entered the stage, in matching burgundy suits, to the back drop of the cover of their latest album Love Letters. They opened with a couple of tracks from this album. From the very beginning the vocal harmonies between the members of the band impressed. During the early stages of the set the band, bar one, were casually getting on with their jobs. Joseph Mount sat behind his keyboard, concentrating on his playing and singing, whilst keeping a fairly low profile early on as did the other original member of the band Oscar Cash. New addition Anna Prior impressed with her drumming and simultaneous vocal harmonies, but it was the other addition to the live line-up bassist Olugbenga Adelekan who grabbed all the early attention. As the others remained reasonably restrained he put on a visual show to highlight his skillful bass playing. Adelekan strutted and jigged around in a style that was reminiscent of some of the backing musicians that Andre 3000 plays in Outkast’s video for ‘Hey Ya’.
Metronomy then began to introduce fans favourites from their previous albums into the set, the first of which ‘The Look’ was warmly received as was ‘The Bay’. Perhaps the loudest cheer was the one which came from the audience showing their appreciation of fans ‘Radio Ladio’ from debut album Nights Out.
The new material is noticeably more mainstream with less reliance on the quirky, odd, un-formulaic keyboard melodies of old. They are still there but have been toned down slightly and taken more of a backseat. Instrumental track ‘Boy Racers’ was a bold choice but one which paid off with a fond greeting from the crowd.
While this was a thoroughly enjoyable set, performed with consummate professionalism, it did seem like it could have done more to heighten the atmosphere in the room. The set ebbed and flowed and therefore on occasions felt like it was on the verge of stepping up to a climactic ending, but it never seemed to take that final step. If the setlist had been rearranged so that it built towards a final flourish, then that may have achieved a more satisfactory end. Having said that I am just being greedy and wanting even more from what was already a fine set.