Somerset House Summer Series: Chromeo

Chromeo with support from ODESZA
July 9th, 2015
Summer Series at Somerset House

The annual Summer Series at Somerset House returns July 9-19 for its 2015 run.  Set in one of London’s most beautiful courtyards, this year’s lineup is as impressive as ever, with the excellent Chromeo kicking off festivities on the evening of the 9th with a sold out show.

Arriving on stage to familiar chants of “Chromeo-o-o”, the band delved in by starting with one of their biggest hits from their Business Casual album, Night By Night.  The stage lights were bright, the music funky, and Chromeo members Dave 1 and P-Thugg as infectiously enigmatic as their tunes.  When a band is having that much fun on stage, there is no way the audience cannot join in!

Night by Night turned into Hot Mess before the band moved onto a song from their latest album White Women with lesser known track Somethingood.  Personally, I found this song a strange addition to the set list that made sure a handful of songs from the band’s last three albums were included, as well as the hit Needy Girl from their first and potentially least known LP.  Surely Frequent Flyer or Play The Fool would have made a better choice to include in this summery fun set, alas, the bulk of the crowd didn’t seem to mind and continued to dance through to next hit Tenderoni.

Alternating between albums with the songs Come Alive, Bonafied Lovin’, Sexy Socialite, Momma’s Boy and Over Your Shoulder, it then came time for Old 45s off of White Women.  I have been a big fan of this song since I first heard it upon the album’s release.  In recent months, I’ve grown fonder of Fall Back 2U as my song of choice from this album, but especially after hearing it performed live, there is no arguing that Old 45s is a true masterpiece.  Flawlessly performed with passion and energy, this song engaged the crowd on a different level to other Chromeo songs.  Slower in BPM than other danceable hits, lyrically clever, musically intricate and catchy as hell, this song is iconic Chromeo.

While Old 45s is iconic new Chromeo, Fancy Footwork is the epitome of a Chromeo song and arguably their greatest.  That funky sound, the sexy lady backup vocals, the danceability, the catchy synth hooks and the memorable intro, this is the first port of call for anyone seeking out Chromeo music for the first time.  If this rendition had anyone thinking that perhaps Chromeo’s best music is behind them, the band then finished their set with Jealous (I Ain’t With It), reminding us all that they most certainly are with it.  For their encore, the band came back on stage to those chants of “Chromeo-o-o”, broke into my current favourite Fall Back 2U and finished with fan favourite Needy Girl.

Through this Summer Series set that spanned their four albums, Chromeo have proven themselves a rarity – a band with an iconically distinct sound, yet a prolific repertoire of distinct fresh material.  I cannot wait to hear what they do next.

Photos by Richard Hamer

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