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Live Music Review: International Teachers of Pop at Metronome

1 November 18 words: Laura Phillips

Sheffield’s freshest musical project – International Teachers of Pop – took to Nottingham’s brand-new 350-capacity venue, Metronome, to educate their captivated students at their debut Nottingham gig...

photo: Duncan Stafford

With the recent resurgence of eighties-inspired electronic bangers 2018 has provided us with, it’s safe to say that disco-fuelled pop music and synchronised dance moves are back on the syllabus.

The “nerd disco” group, International Teachers of Pop, is the side project of Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer, founders of hit Sheffield-based bands, The Moonlandingz and The Eccentronic Research Council, and also features Nottingham’s own Leonore Wheatley and Katie Mason.

Support came from unique Manchester-based solo project, TVAM, whose cascading, room-filling sound at first listen could easily be mistaken for a five-piece, or more. With backing tracks pre-recorded onto VHS and wheeled out to be played via a nineties-era school TV set, they have a seriously quirky and retro approach to both sound and visuals. Think kaleidoscopes and dreamy, transcendent riffs, with a sprinkling of eighties sci-fi magic. TVAM’s debut album, Psychic Data, was released on Thursday 25 October, and has already received praise from BBC Radio 6 – even being named Album of the Day.

When International Teachers of Pop took to the stage, front women, Wheatley and Mason, boasted a glamorous and eccentric eighties look with a twist of noughties minimalism, and neon glitz. This show is not just about the music.

The band exploded into authentic, infectious electro-pop rhythms that sound fresh from Top of the Pops in 1981. With Flanagan and Honer duelling it out on keyboards and synths, Wheatley and Mason took charge of vocals (and dancing).

Cracking out classic, synchronised moves, it was impossible not to boogie along with the powerfully energetic duo at this eccentric school disco, with the crowd getting to join in with some synchronised party-popper pulling when instructed.

As the band broke into their penultimate song – and debut single – Age of the Train, the audience begged for more, we were treated to a final brand-new hit to bring the night’s lesson to a close.

International Teachers of Pop performed at Metronome on Friday 26 October 2018

Metronome website


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