All photography by Matt Cheetham
On Friday 12th November Chromeo, Montreal’s finest electro export, took The Roundhouse by a sexy, synthesized storm.
Camden’s iconic venue, The Roundhouse, is humming with the buzz of energy and anticipation for Chromeo. The band released their third album, ‘Business Casual’, in August of this year and tonight will play a sold out show, their biggest to date. As we wait, the familiar Chromeo chant begins to resonate across the room, a now familiar underscore to all of the Chromeo shows. They are half an hour late, but this doesn’t deter the audience and as soon as the guys make their way onto the stage, amid a chest-shuddering bass, the chanting only gets louder. The duo immediately own the stage. They open the set with the catchy and aptly titled ‘I’m Not Contagious’ from the new album, which showcases the smooth vocals of ladies’ favourite, Dave 1, and P-Thugg’s keyboard and synth wizardry. The audience begin moving instantly, and The Roundhouse becomes a sea of swaying bodies and waving hands.
The stage is lit by two pairs of shapely neon legs, synonymous with the sexed up electro funk that the band delivers. Dave Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel, Dave and P-Thugg respectively, are credited with spear-heading the revival of 80’s disco and giving it a much needed makeover and modern spin. The atmosphere intensifies when ‘Tenderoni’ kicks in, a true Chromeo classic and fan favourite. The standing audience are jumping around, and the seated have left their seats, and all are singing along with suit-clad Dave before he even knows it. The beauty of The Roundhouse is in its name, and the stage is projected right into the audience, making the bond between band and audience just that little more special. When ‘Tenderoni’ finishes, Dave takes a moment to thank the audience for the overwhelming reception and highlights what a great show it is so far. You get the feeling that everyone in the room is thinking exactly the same thing.
New song, ‘Don’t Turn the Lights On’ causes what appears to be mass hysteria in the audience, before leading into the ultra-cool and sleazy ‘Bonafide Lovin’ from their second album. Dave confidently whips around the stage during his guitar solo, taking a quick stop to give P-Thugg a brotherly hug. Keeping it in the musical family, a quick guest appearance from Dave’s brother, A Trak, adds an injection of lively pop remixes and is a welcome addition to the show. This is outdone however, by the explosion of glitter paper that falls from the roof in the next song, a fun moment to celebrate the band’s reputation as the charming maestro’s of modern disco.
The encore brings about ‘Needy Girl’, one of the band’s most successful songs, and one that is best saved till last to induce some serious jiving en masse. There are more thanks and praise from the band, and they exit the stage to a thunderous cheer. The real joy of a Chromeo show is watching how the band can get the audience dancing and this one was no exception. As I leave the venue, I’m not the only one with a need to keep moving, and slip off with many others to the after-party, to shake a neon leg.
Chromeo are back next April, at London’s Brixton Academy.