Boys + Metronomy + Kelley Polar + Prinzhorn Dance School
Indigo2, London, 25 April 2008
The sub-venue of the O2 arena, Indigo2, has the style and
ambience of a nightclub rather than a live music venue.
Its hushed UV lighting and mirrored walls make it more akin
to a set from Blade Runner than your usual spit and sawdust
indie hovel. It
makes a refreshing change though and tonight’s bill
of shiny retro-futuristic synthpop couldn’t be more
fitting for the equally shiny setting.
up for tonight’s Eat Your Own Ears extravaganza are
Prinzhorn Dance School. Kick drums ring
out like gunshots as Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn shout out
over the simplistic lead/bass guitar. Their post-punk mishmash
of Joy Division-styled, bass-heavy stomp-arounds proves
likeable but not truly loveable. They hardly endear themselves
when Prinz declares, "Keyboards are for cruise ships",
in a most anti-new rave fashion. Having alienated the rest
of the bill, and perhaps some of the tiny but expanding
audience, the keyboards are thankfully wheeled out.
Polar takes to the stage with his Gary Numan-esque,
vocodored synthpop. His twinkly melodies collide with icy
melancholy and the clever, breathed percussion of Chysanthemum
proves particular memorable. At one point Polar pulls a
violin out to accompany a hand-clapping eighties electro
track to further exemplify his array of musical talents.
you get the feeling the venue should be floating five feet
off the ground making a low humming noise before blurring
off through time and space, tonight it would definitely
have warped off into the past rather than the future. Polar’s
music spends so much time looking over its shoulder it’s
in danger of walking into things. It is very well produced
and smattered with hooks though and the audience seem to
be largely impressed overall.
more up to date, Junior Boys then ply the
crowd with their melancholy electronica. Jeremy Greenspan’s
songs also brandish their eighties influences proudly but
alongside house, techno and Balearic references which add
an extra edge. With his exemplary songwriting skills, the
music does not consist of regurgitated clichés but
has a modern meaning and purpose to it. Best-known tracks
such as Like A Child and In The Morning raise roars of recognition
from the crowd when they’re aired before Under The
Sun forms the set’s crescendo.
supposedly second on the bill, Metronomy
headline. "Is everyone happy to be in the Millennium
Dome?", asks frontman Joseph Mount as he walks on stage,
a question you’d never have thought would have received
such an enthusiastically positive response just a few short
years ago. With trademark Teletubby chest-lights switched
on full-beam, the trio launch into an up-tempo, high-energy
rock/rave knees up which gets the now sizable crowd flailing
madly. The synths are still intact but compared to what’s
gone before this is active, dynamic and pumped up on adrenalin.
one to pay attention to the visual side of live performance,
Mount then asks for the lights to be turned down so the
band’s light-up guitars show up properly. This attention
to detail also manifests itself through the music resulting
in a focussed yet exuberant set that includes melodica playing,
pounding electro and joyful disco beats. The crowd are steadily
stirred up till the thumping, repetitive You Could Easily
Have Me results in a fantastic, moshing finale.
formed the perfect end to an enjoyably eccentric night’s
entertainment that started slowly but peaked at just the
- Ian Roullier, 04/2008