We’re excited to see LONDON GRAMMAR live. As part of the stunning LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY lineup, we’re at the East Village Arts Club (EVAC) to check out this London band who have been gathering buzz with their standout tracks.
Dressed casually and with a very calm and endearingly shy onstage presence, the 3-piece band look at home in this intimate venue. Rare for any London bands, they seem genuinely humbled to play the festival and to be invited to perform in a city famed for its connection with music.
Singer Hannah Reid has vocals to seriously rival those of other notable female lead singers – she’s already been compared to Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl, Massive Attack) and Katie Stelmanis (Austra) – but she has a rare fragile edge and emotion in her vocals that really distinguishes her from the pack, making her an ideal fit for this highly-tight unit that are just pumping out track after track of excellence. It’s really impossible to imagine anybody else leading these melodies. She comfortably hits the plethora of high notes, smashing all the brilliantly arranged songs, including “Dust & Metal” which is happily stuck in my head now. One member of the crowd says to her friend, “Wow, she’s hot!” – I guess that doesn’t hurt, either.
“Wasting My Young Years” is a deeply emotive track and reminds us that it’s difficult to find any comparison to this band at the moment. Every track is a pleasure for the senses – we’re transported into a timeless space, and the venue nicely fills out as the set moves on. It’s rare to see a young band whose set is perfection from beginning to end. We’re talking extremely high standards.
Instrumental backup is superlative. Dot Major seamlessly moves from keys to drums, emanating a quietly intense passion that you really feel as you study his dream-filled facial expressions. Dan Rothman is fantastic on guitar, respectfully hanging back to let Hannah enjoy the limelight. The members communicate with each other onstage – with minimal chit-chat and reassuring glances here and there, they demonstrating the power of a band who are perfectly synchronized in both sound and energy. It’s a privilege to see a band who are in the early days of their musical greatness and who have a lot of love and respect for each other – this is a rare thing.
Do not miss them live. Why? Because their live performance is an ethereal experience, but also because you may regret not catching them while they’re still doing the smaller stages before they soon become inevitably massive. Unlike the vast majority of bands bizarrely ‘buzzed up’ by mainstream media, this is not a ‘hype’ band – this is a high-quality collection of talented musicians who are aiming for the max in their work, and who embody the very best of great British music of our time. Summarized in one word: iconic.