Metric - Manchester Ritz, 7/7/12 2

Metric – Manchester Ritz, 7/7/12

Metric Manchester 58061

Given that they fill arenas back home in Canada, it’s odd that Metric are not bigger in the UK. Tonight’s show at Manchester’s venerable Ritz was packed, but not sold out; the touts outside were selling tickets at £1 less than face. Mind you, it is a 1,500 capacity hall and is a huge step up by comparison from the Academy 2 last time they were in town. That was just as Fantasies was taking off in 2009; the game changer, the one that the band themselves say proved they had a future. It had all the trappings of major league tonight, including a massive and complex lighting rig that must need a 38 tonner all on its own – maybe the one that was sitting out front with parking tickets fluttering like prayer flags.

Inside the hall, it felt packed and intense. Kyla La Grange did a decent job of opening.  There were moments when Kyla’s set was surprisingly celtic sounding in amongst the beat and throb of her full electric band, the drumming in particular feeling like it could be beaten out on a bodhran. It’s very possible to mistakenly think of Kyla as a semi-folk act, it’s much more pop polished than that, and full of drama as Kyla crouched, hunched and twirled on stage. It was good enough stuff, but ultimately failed to fully ignite for me.

KylaLaGrange_-5286 Kyla La Grange

By the time Metric got on at the unearthly early hour of 8.01pm prompt, the crowd was packing hard at the front. Metric opened without compromise to the past, straight into ‘Nocturne’ from the new album. I was in the photo pit, squeezed between audience and stage, and from there could feel the energy ramp like a turbo kick. Ninety seconds into the set and I was close enough to see Emily already slick with sweat, a good litmus for the energy they would pour into the next hour and a half. The first six songs were all from Synthetica, and considering the record has been out there for all of a month since the band led fans a pre-release dance of internet hide and seek to access a stream, it was greeted with something like delirium. It probably reflects my listening to the album, but for me the highlight of that first section was ‘Dreams So Real’, with Em’s lyrics reflecting the cold chill of post-honeymoon band existence. We’d spoken about it before the gig, when I was treated to a chat and a stroll along the canal with Jimmy and Emily, the notion in this song is that despite all your wishes and ambitions, you ultimately risk changing nothing. It’s like a cold moment of night fear in an otherwise happy and positive time of their lives.


Seven songs in and we were plunged back seven years, for ‘Empty’ from the ‘Live It Out’ album, a song that starts slow before crashing over a head-banging break. The audience, or at least those old enough to love the song, obeyed its injunct to shake their heads and suddenly the punk ethos was coming through strong. Straight from there into ‘Help I’m Alive’, one of the most lyrically memorable from ‘Fantasies’. By this stage I was back in the crowd, feeling the pull of the front, and joining those around me shouting along with the lyrics, thwarting those people trying to video the gig on their phones – ha!

Another four then in quick succession from ‘Synthetica’, up to and including the synth heavy but softly spoken ‘Breathing Under Water’ before another one for the old purists in the form of ‘Dead Disco’, one of their earliest and most raw songs “tits out, pants down, overnight to London”. The main set closed with the crashing thump of ‘Stadium Love’, another one to shout along to. They came back out to ‘Monster Hospital’ and ‘Gold, Guns, Girls’, both ensuring ever increasing audience participation, before taking us into the chill-out zone to close the whole thing down with just Jimmy on guitar and Emily singing ‘Gimme Sympathy’, stripped back entirely and performed as a campfire singalong. It somehow felt like a homecoming, and I guess that’s what it was, not in geography, but that constant return to the fans wherever in the world they might be.

We’ll be back shortly with the in-depth pre-gig interview














God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.