Electric Brixton, London
Music review: London Grammar - 'Smooth grooves and catchy chords spell success'
Tuesday 22 October 2013
London Grammar may have only formed last year but they have fast become the band à la mode of the UK. The three young Londoners nabbed the No 2 spot with their debut album, If You Wait, have a UK tour and a catchy collaboration with Disclosure on “Help Me Lose My Mind”.
As one the hottest new music acts, it is no surprise that their Electric Brixton show has sold out tonight and that for many, it is the first time they have seen the band perform live.
Twenty-three-year-old lead singer Hannah Reid transfixes the room from the start, emanating a vulnerability that is released as a chilly ambience on “Hey Now”. The silent room focuses on the effortless rises and falls of her voice as she sings with a clear, impassioned delivery. It is an incredible instrument to behold.
“Stay Awake” and “Flickers” see Dan Rothman’s sparse guitar-lines and Dot Major’s synths and drums creating intricate, undulating patterns that move with Reid’s voice and evoke a melancholic pop that is somewhat reminiscent of Portishead, circa 1996.
Tear-jerker “Wasting My Young Years” and “Strong” are touching renditions of youthful angst while a smooth cover of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall” comes perfectly timed to move the show from something sullen to swinging. “Metal and Dust”, too, jolts the crowd into cheers, bringing about an energetic shuffling of feet.
The simple black background and staging reflects the tone of their music. Despite some nods to The xx’s brand of atmospheric, melancholic pop, there is none of the branded artwork, flashy lights or smoke effects that they use to up their dramatic tone.
The simplicity of London Grammar’s staging works with the haunting subtlety of these songs.
The group end tonight’s show with a brilliant rendition of Chris Isaak’s slow-burning love song “Wicked Game”. Reid’s anguished vocals reverberate within their cavernous sound that makes for a sparse but moving tribute to the original.
London Grammar’s songs, at times life-affirming, at times heart-wrenching, are always completely compelling with a star like Reid at the helm.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia