By Heather Wall
Last week I hit up London Grammar at The Manchester Academy. I’d only listened to a few of their songs, but was very intrigued by the group I’d seen on countless festival lineups and tipping lists.
Inevitably the first thing that struck me about the opening of the show was the incredible vocals of front woman Hannah Reid. They begun the show with their first single, Hey Now, and as I suspected, Hannah’s deep, clear and such distinctive vocals began to steal the show.
What became increasingly exciting was their lighting. I know it sounds nerdy, but they had a really intense backdrop of so many clear colours which panned across the stage. I was very impressed at the clear, bright, sharp lines which added to a really consistent band image.
Back to the music! For a band that are relatively new, they were pretty tight. Guitarist Dan Rothman is unassuming, standing reasonably still in the corner of the stage, whilst percussionist Dot Major, darted from drum kit, to keys, to djembe and to what looked like an MPC. As the show went on, Dot completely stole the limelight, darting from instrument to instrument, providing the incredible layered percussive textures which make London Grammar different.
Other tracks they graced the crowd with included Flickers and Metal and Dust. As the set progressed I found Hannah’s vocals were eclipsed by Dot’s strengths. She maintained a powerful and wonderful lead vocal, but Dot’s darting became more unpredictable and exciting.
My favourite track of the whole set may have been Nightcall, the band’s cover of Kavinsky. To be honest, I’d never heard the original, but by this time in the set (pretty much the end) I was enjoying it, and had got used to it. It didn’t develop much but was certainly a good listen/watch.
This is me and Rachel. Big up Lisa for securing us with the high quality viewing position.