To see Spoon live is to witness a band in complete control of their music. They’re a finely tuned machine where every part, from Britt Daniel’s nasally but appealing voice to Jim Eno’s drumming, both brutal and precise, work together in perfect unison.
The Texans may be indie rock’s ultimate sneaky good band; they can probably walk the streets unrecognised and have never rode a wave of hype but they have quietly compiled a catalogue rated by Metacritic as the most critically acclaimed of the last decade.
Tonight’s Metro set is a tour de force demonstration of their lean, economical approach, crisp sound and unfailingly foot-tapping tunes. New songs like ‘Rainy Taxi’ and ‘Do You’ are as tightly coiled as a spring, while ‘Inside Out’ pairs a typically muscular rhythm to a twinkling keyboard melody to stunning effect.
It’s a good natured affair, ranging from the krautrock-leaning ‘The Ghost of You Lingers’ to the angular rhythms of ‘Don’t You Evah’ and an irresistibly funky ‘I Turn My Camera On’, complete with perfectly executed interlocking melodies.
Even the rare chaotic moments feel perfectly controlled – Alex Fischel’s bursts of keyboard noise during ‘Don’t Make Me a Target’ are like a master painter throwing a splash of paint over a canvas to complete the work.
As a nod to one of their favourite Australian bands, they make a spirited run at Eddie Current Suppression Ring’s ‘Memory Lane’ before ending with an emotionally charged ‘Black Like Me’ as well as Spoon classics ‘You Got Your Cherry Bomb’ and ‘The Underdog’, the latter beautifully understated.
On the final night of their Australian tour, there seems to be some indefinable extra spice to their performance, or maybe it’s just the infectious energy of a gun band visibly enjoying their work. Either way, it’s pretty hard to fault.