Tag Archives: Gig Review

Live Review: Let’s Eat Grandma, Latitude Festival, 18 July 2015

22 Jul

LEG

Nestled within the trees of Henham Park woods, shrouded in the metaphorical shadow of the grand Obelisk stage atop the hill, Latitude offers music lovers a multitude of glories to enjoy. The iArena and Alcove stages for example, tend to showcase bands on the rise, exciting and extremely talented artists, these stages offer a reasonable introduction to festival life in quieter, more organic surroundings. Then there is the Other Voices stage, new this year it is perhaps the most beautifully bedecked of all in its makeshift barn by the lake with a line up that would be good enough to thrill most punters regardless of what was happening elsewhere.

Yet these relatively intimate and wonderful surroundings are nothing compared to the comparatively tiny set-up that is the Inbetweeners stage. A small platform organised by Access to Music and CultureWorks East, it sits between the kids area and the Greenpeace woodland activity area. Not the most glamorous of stages perhaps and certainly not one that brings in the big crowds. It is ostensibly a place where Access to Music students get to perform and experience the festival environment for the first time.

It is here though, in these inauspicious environs, amongst whispered excitements for surprise sets from Ed Sheeran and Thom Yorke, that a musical revolution is taking place. In front of probably the Inbetweeners largest ever audience and with (we’d wager for the first time) label reps sat atop the dusty hillside, two young ladies are delighting and befuddling in equal measure. Let’s Eat Grandma have come to play and we’re not sure Latitude knows what is hitting it.

At just 16, Rosa and Jenny might just be the most exciting and remarkable act we see all weekend. Their show, and it is a show – not just a gig, is avant garde organised chaos and is utterly captivating. They move about the stage, seamlessly swapping from instrument to instrument, keys, drums, sax, triangle, strings, even a recorder or two make an appearance as the pair sing, chant, shriek and enthrall. Experimental, punky, rebellious and poppy, there is no way to adequately describe the level of imagination and creation at work.

The pair slip effortlessly from moments of synchronised glee to apparent confrontation. It’s spoken word, it’s dance music, it’s discordant and harmonic, spiky and cushion soft, there is humour and foreboding darkness. If it was an art installation piece you’d be amazed but here, in the woods on this tiny stage with two teenagers in matching sparkly jackets, platform shoes and tumbling tresses of hair that are about as wild and wilful as the music they make, it is just astounding.

Let’s Eat Grandma will be appearing at Camp Bestival and Festival Number 6 in the coming months. We heartily recommend you go check them out.


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Gig Review: Broods & MØ – Notting Hill Arts Club, 05/03/2014.

6 Mar

Broods

£5 doesn’t get you much these days. At the Notting Hill Arts Club it will get you 1.5 cans of larger for example, or 70% of a rum and coke. More importantly tonight though, if you are prepared to queue, £5 will get you live sets from two of the hottest new acts around at the moment. 150 or so people are soon crammed into a tiny underground sweatbox to witness the debut UK show from New Zealand duo Broods and a special super intimate set from the incredible and surely soon to be massive, .

This may be Broods first UK show but, with a previous musical life and shows around the world already behind them, it is not their first rodeo and immediately it is clear that they are more than ready. The crowd sings and dances along as the duo move through the sounds of their debut EP, throwing in a Sunday morning vibed reimagining of an Empire of the Sun track along the way for good measure.

“Never Gonna Change”, “Pretty Thing” and “Coattails” are expected highlights from an all round fantastic set but the surprises come from how warm, engaging and self-depreciating the pair are. A couple of their countrymen may have expected them to be shit, but everyone in the room knows this is about as far from the case as you can get. The biggest surprise of all comes from Georgia who is revealed to be a stunning and captivating frontwoman in waiting. All eyes are on her (sorry Caleb) as she dances and sings from behind a keyboard, injecting additional passion, energy and (dare we say) sexiness into their more relaxed numbers and a touch of class and reverence when playing solo on the set closing unnamed new song.

Surely a move to the very front of the stage is in her future as is, unquestionably, even greater success and recognition for the siblings.

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If the crowd were excited for Broods, they are bordering on combustible for Karen Marie Ørsted. A ticking timebomb of pop magnificence with the timer permanently set at 0:00, MØ explodes onto the stage and has the audience in the palm of her hand instantly. The low ceilings and tight walls help create a ridiculously frantic atmosphere as she cavorts wildly, flinging her plait viciously, a tasmanian devil of whirling intensity and sass as she pumps the crowd into a frenzy. Everywhere you look, people are dancing, jumping, smiling. At the very front of the crowd to the very back and even behind the sound desk, there is a wave of movement as we are electrified by this incredible young singer.

“XXX 88” threatens to bring the roof down upon us and as we all sing along deliriously to “Waste of Time” and “Pilgrim” there is the undeniable sense that we are witnessing something special. Even the relative calm of her Spice Girls cover (getting its live debut) has people moving and singing along. Time and again in the set she drops into the crowd to dance and sing amongst us, venturing as far as her mic chord will allow as she leads us in a chant along.

She closes her quickfire but incendiary set with latest single “Dance With Nobody”, a beautiful irony as tonight she is dancing with us all. She is also cementing her position as probably the most exciting new artist on the live circuit right now and as she leaves the stage, all smiles and sweat, we stand in a similar state wondering what the hell just hit us but desperate to do it all again.

£5 doesn’t get you much these days, but spend it wisely and it will get you the best gig of the year.

Photos: Abi Dainton


The ‘Broods’ EP is out now and available from iTunes and will get a limited edition 12-inch vinyl release on 7 April.


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”Don’t Wanna Dance” is out now on iTunes. MØ’s debut album ‘No Mythologies To Follow’ is out 10 March and available to pre-order here.


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Blogathon: IYES in pictures – KOKO 31/01/2014

1 Feb

Our final special edition post of the Blogathon (unless someone wants to send us something exclusive and amazing overnight…) comes from the camera of the very talented Adam Shoesmith who took up our offer of a photo pass and bopped along to IYES at Club NME @ KOKO this evening.

We are very grateful to Adam for his cracking pictures of IYES, but as we’ve read his excited texts about how amazing they were and how many of his pictures came out blurred because he was dancing so much, we can’t help but feel a little bit jealous.

Still, we’re going to go and play “Til Infinity” very loudly (headphones so as not to wake anyone up), look at the pictures and pretend we were there. You can do the same if you like.

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Gig Review: Hip Hatchet – The Bicycle Shop, Norwich. 14/01/2014

15 Jan

Hip Hatchet

He’s a long way from home and his band aren’t here but as he stands alone on a cosy stage, board games piled high and nameless fish exploring their tank behind him, Philippe Bronchtein, aka Hip Hatchet is bringing a little piece of America with him tonight. His inspiration comes from the road on which he roams and with such a vast expanse of countryside available to him in the States, there are many highways and byways to experience, strangers to meet, women to fall in and out of love with and whiskey to be drunk. All of which is here with him tonight, that backpack of memories has made the trip with him and there are yarns to be spun.

Tucked away underground in a town which, with its beards, tattoos, good beer and nice people, is as close to Portland, Oregon as he has found so far, the intimate setting of The Bicycle Shop is sold out and the audience is hanging on his every word and note. A deep, rumbling voice 30 years older than its owner fills the room and barely a word is uttered as tales of woe, of love, of laughter, heartbreak, redemption, optimism and despair take hold of each and every one of us. For little over an hour we are his, enraptured and captivated as his musical dexterity, remarkable as it is, is surpassed by the kind of lyrical deftness and intelligence that would have many a poet laureate kicking the cat in fits of jealous rage. Not just because of their cleverness and evocative imagery, but because each one is imbued with powerful emotion and meaning. Not a line or word is wasted or superfluous.

He is an incredibly engaging character, bursting with an easygoing charm and charisma. Not many people could drop out of a song halfway through to explain an upcoming reference, the slip straight back in and still have the audience in peals of laughter when the reference is made. In between singing his stories, he tells us more, of where a song comes from, of 3 day drives and the people he met, of the kindness of strangers and fences that were scaled when it ran out. The warmth and genuine affection for his friends, for his travels and indeed for us, his audience and listeners is evident and reciprocated tenfold.

With us as his orchestra, Philippe conducts our mood and our emotions, bringing us to joy and despair as he pulls on our heartstrings with these elegant and compelling moments of blues, folk, Americana and incredible storytelling.

At the start of the evening we are challenged to name the five nameless fish. By the end of the evening, only two have been christened. We are too busy travelling down the road with Hip Hatchet, sitting with him in his dusty Subaru as the tumbleweeds roll past, the mountains loom ahead and poetry trips from his lips and into our souls.


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Gig Review: MS MR – Norwich Waterfront 08/03/13

9 Mar

MS MR3

When we first started this blog we were advised of a few fundamental rules that should be followed. There are principles for writing about music and, in particular, reviewing concerts that should always be applied. For example;

Gig reviews must be written in the present tense.
Don’t write in the first person – the review is not about you.
Don’t write about the venue or your trip to the venue – see above.
Don’t be a fanboy – be professional, your love for the band should be apparent without being explicit.
Don’t swear unnecessarily – and if you must, be imaginative.

Let’s break some rules.

Like most of the music blogging community, I kind of lost my shit a bit when the then unknown and mysterious MS MR released “Hurricane” into the world with just a ‘popeleptic’ video to accompany it. I searched and searched, I googled like never before but found next to nothing about them online aside from other bloggers doing the same. Then I came across the Ghost City USA EP of demos and my hunger was briefly sated. Then in the summer of 2012 it was announced that this (still) mysterious duo would be coming to London to perform at one of the Guardian sponsored New Band Of The Day nights. Tickets were duly bought but my excitement soon turned to disappointment as it was announced that illness would prevent the band from travelling and performing.

Later they would come out, reveal themselves to the world and the gaps in the back story began to be filled in. More music was released, the Candy Bar Creep Show EP came out to rave reviews, taking some of the Ghost City… demos and building them into complete and wonderful tracks. Gigs and tours became more frequent, reviews were ever more effusive in their praise and the band’s profile kept rising. Then something remarkable happened; a gig in Norwich was announced. Sleepy little Norwich, which this year has already played host to some amazing acts, was going to be blessed with a visit by the Addams Family of glitch pop. I was fucking stoked.

And so the gig came at last. Tonight at a Waterfront that was already buzzing from a storming set by The Ramona Flowers, I got to see one of my favourite new acts perform and it is fair to say that all my expectations were exceeded.

Immediately it is apparent that Lizzy has developed into an amazing and confident performer. The slightly nervy and restrained singer that was on show in the band’s session for Yours Truly has been replaced by a sassy and exuberant frontwoman whose persona owns the stage and whose voice fills the venue. They look and sound amazing, Lizzy in her black leather biker jacket with a yellow, cropped vest top underneath, her blue hair growing out, she’s like a Hells Angel Gwen Stefani while Max is resplendent in his denim vest top.

There’s more energy and vitality than I expected, the tracks feel more up-tempo, especially “Salty Sweet” which is high velocity, vibrant and clap-a-long-er-crazy. Every track sounds superb and the venue is rocking. Judging on this performance, Second Hand Rapture (out in May) could well end up as one of the albums of the year.

What is surprising is just how damn sexy the pair’s performance is. These tracks, like “Bones”, “Dark Doo Wop” “Ash Tree Lane” etc, are quite dark and macabre, they shouldn’t be hot and smouldering, but they are. There are winks, saucy looking smiles, some groovy boogying and the best looking shoulder work there’s been since the Backsteet Boys rocked our bodies. The crowd is lapping it up, singing along and whooping and so am I. This is something special indeed. The beats are compulsive and as Lizzy works it on stage so too does the crowd. I’m reminded of that wonderful line uttered by Jason Lee in Almost Famous as the singer for Stillwater. ”You know what I do? I connect. I get people off. I look for the guy who isn’t getting off, and I make him get off”. There’s no need to look for that guy tonight as he won’t be found, everyone is getting off on the sound of MS MR and I imagine that they will be for many nights to come.


The Candy Bar Creep Show EP is available digitally or on ltd edition 7″ vinyl.

Read More: 2013 Preview: Listen Out For – MS MR / Review: MS MR – Candy Bar Creep Show EP

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