An electronic celebration of Fred Again’s throne from the pretenders, Overmono at the Roundhouse review

Fred Again has ruled the dance floor this year, but Overmono presented a strong argument Friday night at Chalk Farm’s Roundhouse for taking home the 2024 title.

For those who don’t know, brothers Tom and Ed Russell perform under the stage name Overmono. Taking their moniker from their childhood home, the Welsh suburb of Overmonnow in Monmouth, the brothers had been producing music independently for several years under the aliases Truss and Tessela until finally collaborating in 2015. Kudos to whoever thought of that pun.

 

It’s a move that has paid off: they’ve only been gathering steam since. They’ve collaborated with Joy Orbison, played Coachella, and scored a top 20 album with their debut Good Lies. Think Fred Again.. by way of Bicep, and you won’t be too far off: these fellas are serious, wear trendy clothing, and don’t smile in any of their press photos.

That said, the vibe at the sold-out Roundhouse was anything but serious. The atmosphere was zinging with anticipation and the venue was packed to the rafters with dance fans sporting Carhartt shirts and cross-body bags, of course, ready to party.

After a simple “Hi London”, Overmono duly provided that party. It’s a difficult art, getting a live set right, especially in electronic music: simply racing through the hits with a few lasers isn’t going to cut it. Though they rocketed through their setlist like they had jetpacks on, last night was a more varied blend, spinning the old together with the new and making magic out of whatever came up – aided, yes, by the impressive light displays on the wall behind them.

As a result, the dancefloor was packed due to banger after banger – an unreleased remix of Tessela’s Hackney Parrot one moment, a sample of Ruff Sqwad’s Functions On The Low the next. Blow Out, one of their bigger hits, was accompanied by visuals of two Dobermanns frolicking in slow motion against three massive video screens set on the wall above them.

This wasn’t an entirely polished act, but it was promising. Overmono is still cutting their teeth when it comes to commanding an audience, and the set dragged slightly in the middle – but then we were back for a rendition of I Have A Love, which saw artist David Balfe – who helms the spoken word music project For Those I Love – joining the pair on stage, followed by thunderous renditions of Bby, Is U and finally, Good Lies that had the entire venue jumping.

 

 

The two went to the front of the stage and raised their hands to the applauding crowd as the song came to an end. It seemed more like 3 a.m. on a Saturday than 10 p.m. on a Wednesday. Then, as they should have done, they leaned in to embrace. This family-run firm is doing quite well.

 

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