Little Dragon, gig review

Village Undergound, London, Thursday 27 February

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The Independent Culture

The unsettling triphoppy grooves of Little Dragon's debut album didn't suggest a band destined for wide popularity, but thanks to the fizzing, many-genred electropop of 2012's Ritual Union and their work with Gorillaz, the Swedes' niche is now a pretty big one.

The new songs from revealed on Thursday suggest a move towards something heavier and less sweet than the likes of Ritual Union's playfully spooky 'Crystalfilm' for the forthcoming Nabuma Rubberband. 'Klapp Klapp', a grindingly synthy beast, recalls Liars. N while 'Underbart' loses itself into a more intense, trancey sort of dance.

They keep the groove going from song to song, and the magpie nature of their muse means that the new tracks blend in easily. They could use, though, more of a sense of the mood of the crowd. The kind of buzz they're trying to build takes care, and at times the momentum is lost. Not least when, already a little late, they start the show with several long, patience-testing minutes of piercing synth ripple playing to an empty stage. As the night goes on, though, the likes of the sexy, wonky 'Killing Me' take off, and suggest there's more interesting things yet to come from the Little Dragon that could.