Chromeo @ Printworks

Printworks, London
November 1st, 2018

by Joanna Orland

In support of their fifth studio album Head Over Heels, Chromeo made a triumphant return to London to play one of the city’s newer and most unique venues.

Printworks boasts a maze of corridors and rooms, with much of the building’s original industrial features from its printing press days still intact. Having launched in March of this year with 3000 capacity, the venue has become known for hosting live and electronic music events. The long and narrow shape of the room made it difficult to engage with Chromeo’s live performance as they were so far away from the bulk of the audience; but their energy, music and the excellent sound system more than made up for the distance.

Arriving on stage to the audience chant of “Chromeo-o-o”, and playing a mix of songs old and new, Chromeo had the evolution of their music on full display. Their older albums feel much more electronic and dance inspired, while their more recent ones much more funk derived. Their older numbers, including Tenderoni and Fancy Footwork, went down particularly well at Printworks, not just for their musicianship, but because the space just works extremely well for dance music. The sound of their synths and steady rhythms filled the large concrete room with a wall of sound, and had the rather large audience dancing and singing along.

Their newer material went down in a more surprising way. Songs that feel a bit weaker on the album came across with more power live, but the Head Over Heels songs just didn’t suit the venue space as well. They didn’t fall flat by any means, but lacked the oomph that their dancier tunes created in this setting with these acoustics.

Chromeo is a band who obviously love what they do – and it emanates from them on stage. Their dad-like dance moves, fun riffs, and casual banter only enhance their joyous music. To see them live is the best way to truly appreciate what they do, and the Printworks audience certainly did, obeying every dance move command from lead singer Dave 1 and singing along to every talk box lyric by P-Thugg. An interesting, but perhaps not amazing space to see a band such as Chromeo, Printworks was a bit of a distraction from the band’s musical and entertainment genius.


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