Gig review: London Grammar at O2 Academy Leeds

London Grammar at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
London Grammar at O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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It seems in recent times that there are a plethora of up-and-coming bands that seem to have suddenly ‘made it big’. Blasted from some kind of obscurity on to a main stream stage all in a short space of time.

In my youth bands seemed to relentlessly play the circuit forever and a day until either their luck ran out or the lure of the big time was bestowed upon them from consistent playing of tapes passed from mate to mate.

Nowadays, with the development of social networking, you don’t even have to play a solitary gig to enjoy some form of success.

Such is my knowledge of London Grammar, I decided the latter seemed to be their route to success. Having heard of them recently on the scene around the back end of 2013, their rise seems to be exceptionally quick and good on them for that. Their debut album, If You Wait has rapidly increased their fan base with a very decent-sized sell out tour across the country.

It is at 02 Academy Leeds where I catch them in one of their sold-out gigs. It’s a dismal evening in the real capital of the north and the potential for people to miss out on the gig is probably rife. The crowd is pretty sparse when I arrive and support act Say Lou Lou are just about to take to the stage. The Swedish sisters and their band are an ambient, swirling, melancholic alt-rock act blessed with eye-pleasing looks and a hypnotic sound, quite apt for this kind of evening.

With recommendations from people I know, London Grammar a very hotly tipped band. Described as trip-hop, I’m expecting a set within the confines of Portishead. I’m fairly pleased when they take to the stage that I’m not far off.

Hannah Reid’s haunting voice echoes throughout the venue, causing the hairs to tingle on the back of your neck. If Pink Floyd were returned in a modern day back to the future-esque, fronted by their amazing backing vocalist Sam Brown, I reckon this, right here would be what they’d sound like, and that, in my weirdness, is a fairly massive compliment.

My only criticism – and it is only a very slight one – is that too much of their set leaves me needing something slightly more upbeat.

However, festival appearances for 2014 are aplenty for London Grammar and you’d be missing out if you didn’t see them,

Gig date: February 12

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