It’s rare that we get to see a Dublin venue so amped up and in singing form before the start of a set. Particularly Tripod – a venue which while home to one of the most expensive sound systems in Dublin, largely ends up with punter legs locked to the floor and a lot of bodies in close proximity.
But then Chromeo aren’t your average touring act. As the band take to the stage for the first time in a long time since their last appearance at Electric Picnic 2008, it’s the audience that sets the bar from the off by singing at the stage with what can only be described as The Chromeo Chant. It goes something like this: “CHROME EE OO OOO OOHH! CHROME EE OO OOO OOHH!”, and it taken from the intro to Chromeo’s second album Fancy Footwork. It’s clear we already know each other so Chromeo get straight down to business – making everyone dance for the next 70 minutes.
Dave 1 and P-Thugg are two very different characters. The older brother of superstar DJ A-Trak, leather jacket and smile-wearing Dave 1 exudes an effortless cool, prompting a girl to throw her bra at him. P-Thugg is the direct opposite – a paunchy man in a white wifebeater vest and a skullcap who serves as the band’s funkmeister. P-Thugg is the cuddly heart of Chromeo. As Dave 1 plays guitar and pleases the ladies with croons atop electro funk, P-Thugg drives those arrangements with an array of synthesizers which sit on Chromeo’s trademark lady’s legs.
The concept of Chromeo’s music is frankly, ridiculous. What it boils down to is two guys in 2010 making music directly lifted from two decades previous. A pastiche. Where that argument fails though is the fact that Chromeo’s ’80s electro funk music is arguably better than the music it is inspired by. Tracks like ‘Tenderoni’, ‘Fancy Footwork’ and ‘Bonafied Lovin’ from the second LP are instant dance classics and are treated as such by the audience. The band’s 2010 release Business Casual continues where that funk party left off with standouts ‘Hot Mess’ and ‘Night By Night’ getting on airing.
The set works best when the tempo is high but songs like the idiosyncratic ultra-’80s rhythm of ‘Grow Up’ and the Christmas no. 1 in another funk planet ‘Momma’s Boy’ extend the palette some more. Tripod has never been so loose and limber.
Photos: Sara Devine.