With a socially distanced set-up deep on the stage, an outfit offering easy-groove electronic pop and mild-tempered R and B requires compelling/projecting personalities, or quality light effects, or volume, for best results. For too much of the show, Cosmo’s Midnight lacked all three.
While Patrick Liney offered good bloke moments as he talked (and talked), neither he nor bass playing brother Cosmo projected even to the middle stalls, let alone the back. And though the rest of the band (guitarist and birthday boy Timi Temple and drummer Joel Farland) were busy, they were not centres of attention.
Crucially, the lights were rudimentary and unimaginative, as if borrowed from the wedding DJ next door and the sound lacked oomph, so light-stepping disco songs such as Have It All and Polarised, which need a push, never lifted off.
Vocalist, Sayah, did her best with some strut, arched back poses and just the right amount of Ariana Grande in Talk To Me, which came close to nailing the funky edge the set needed. But it was not until a languid Ruel trotted on for his brief spot that we finally saw some charisma, and not until Unwind, about half an hour into the show, brought some euphoric rise (and firmer rhythm/deeper groove) that the audience, and the show, got up and set themselves free.
Covering Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now late in the piece did emphasise how Cosmo’s Midnight songs are a little ho-hum by comparison, but maybe the reaction to it – on and off stage – may push the brothers to reconsider the structure of not only the setlist but their neighbourhood party vibe.