Live Review: Metronomy @ Rough Trade

Hot on the heels of the release of their latest record, Small World, Metronomy paid a visit to Nottingham's Rough Trade. The Mic's Louis Griffin reviews.

A Metronomy live set isn’t really the work of one band. Much like their far-ranging discography, it feels more like seeing six separate gigs, with Joseph Mount and co. slipping with ease between their different guises. Here, Beach Boys layered harmonies; there, a Hot Chip-esque new rave groove. Not once do the band’s stylistic shifts feel hackneyed. Instead, they expose the thread that runs through all of Metronomy’s work – an overwhelming joy at such pop dexterity.

''Nowhere is this felt more deeply than on It’s good to be back, which feels like a perfect encapsulation of the sentiment in the room''

The band are playing Rough Trade Nottingham, in support of their latest record, Small World, a typically Metronomy look at life post-COVID. Rather than focus on the grimness of the pandemic which, let’s face it, is a record that no-one wants to hear, the band instead find joy in this new way of living. Nowhere is this felt more deeply than on It’s good to be back, which feels like a perfect encapsulation of the sentiment in the room. The band, and the audience, spend most of the set grinning at the sheer pleasure of it all – yes, we’re really all here, doing this again. It's not a typical in-store show setlist either – most promotional tours in venues such as these find a band playing their new record in full, to a crowd waiting patiently for the encore, and songs they know. Metronomy don’t seem to believe in that way of doing things, though – of the 12 songs given an airing tonight, 4 are taken from Small World, with the rest providing a delightful tour of the band’s back catalogue. There’s a palpable relaxing of the room when the band, after opening with new track Love Factory, launch into the familiar toy keyboards of The Bay. They have no interest in having anything other than a great time.

Ultimately, Metronomy have reached a fascinating point in the lifecycle of former indie darlings. They have hits a-plenty (see that most catchy of indie albatrosses, The Look), but still retain an overwhelming sense of goodwill from audiences through their various reinventions. There’s a certain point when it becomes hard not to use words like ‘national treasures’ to describe them. It really is good to be back.

Louis Griffin


Edited by: Amrit Virdi

Featured image and in-article images and videos courtesy of Metronomy via Facebook and YouTube.