Lany at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire: Carefree pop that takes you back to simpler times

LA-based trio perform to a sold-out crowd in London

Jo Turner
Thursday 14 December 2017 16:39

There’s no escaping the tide of Eighties nostalgia that’s washed over pop culture recently, and LA-based trio LANY (pron. LAY-nee if you’re wondering), with their blend of dream pop and R’n’B, are riding the wave.

The sold-out show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire kicks off with an atmospheric set from London four-piece Colouring - whose soaring synth rock is punctuated by club rhythms and hints at a Radiohead influence.

LANY, formed in 2014 and touring their self-titled debut album, come on to the arpeggio-like intro of “Dumb Stuff”, with the largely teenage audience’s ecstatic cheers reaching fever-pitch as frontman Paul Klein bounces into view.

He works the crowd effortlessly with waves and hair-flicks, but is visibly delighted with the reception, and has a passion onstage that lets you forgive his blatant hipster cool.

The band’s sound combines Klein’s earnestly delivered vocals with lush layers of texture from Les Priest on keyboards, and Jake Clifford Goss’s persistent, chunky rhythms.

Tracks from early EPs like fan-favourite “Made in Hollywood” – which sums up what this band are all about: California summer, coming of age and young love – get huge receptions.

From the album, “Hurts”, with its Nineties R’n’B vibe, is a highlight. A slowed down, acoustic version of “Pancakes” is similarly well-received, even more so when it segues into a cover of Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times”.

The encore predictably features the album’s lead single, “Super Far”, followed by “ILYSB”, LANY’s biggest hit, rounding off a solid set which keeps a great pace despite the fact the album itself can, at 16 tracks, feel a little long and samey.

Klein’s lyrics aren’t particularly challenging (sunset drives, texting, women who’ve spurned him…) but they don’t need to be: LANY make fine, carefree pop that takes you back to summer days and simpler times.

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