After leaving this space without any proper writing for the last 3/4 months, the best I could come up with is a gig review. Really? (really.) Because this gig is essentially one of the most unforgettable one I’ve ever been. Just a disclaimer that this review is based purely on my experience as a fan, so don’t take it too seriously?
So it’s about London Grammar. If you’re not familiar (and have been living under a big-ass rock), go to a new tab and type it on Youtube search bar. They’re a trip-hop (honestly, music genre name these days..) group that comes to the surface of music industry barely a year ago. I also learnt how they met each other whilst studying in University of Nottingham, busy with dissertation and eventually finding out that they are actually able to do music as living. I am currently in the middle of writing my dissertation and the thought of what comes next sometimes scares the shit out of me. Anyway I loved them on a first listen of their album, and so decided to come to the gig when opportunity arise. And on 8 February, I marched to Sheffield for London Grammar live in O2 Academy Sheffield.
The gig opener was @kyanmusic and @sayloulou which I have to say I enjoy very much. Especially Kyan, a Cambridge lad with the fusion of John Mayer voice and Bruno Mars look. Can never go wrong with that combo. Check out one of the track he played last night below. Free download too!
I was lucky enough to have stood at the front row without queuing too long. The vibe of the whole venue was just really chilled and relaxed, with a healthy mix of men and women. A bit put off from the last Maroon 5 gig where the audience; or should i say the teenage girls; were literally screaming their heads off all the time. Fair enough, it was a different genre, but it was still nice to be a part of a mature audience that appreciates music in a different way. Anyway I stood at the front row on centre-right-ish side of the stage which had me exactly in front of Dot Major and his equipments, which consists of drums, keyboards, synths, percussion drum, and a bottle of beer. I had told my friend before about the similarity of Dot to Harry Styles and in my opinion after seeing in real life the prior is incredibly easy in the eyes and *bonus* very talented to add in. Honestly I understand why we are enthralled with Hannah and her vocal powerhouse ripping through the venue, but I also came to realise how Dot Major multitasks in between songs with different equipments quite fascinating. Portraying himself to public eyes as “a pie of London Grammar”, he is also quite the producer/beat maker I’d very much like to see creating songs for big names in the future. Dot Major, major props (pun intended and not sorry).
London Grammar comes up the stage at 9:15 PM, started off with ‘Hey Now’ and I was originally planning to record the first song with my camera, but the first 30 seconds convinced me that I needed to put down my camera and really soak up this experience. It was such a surreal moment when she sings and the audience were eerily still (with a little bit of high hoops here and there), which results in me having chills all over. Not just because it was cold, even though it was actually freezing inside the venue, but a good kind of chills that goes deep in your bone when you enjoyed something so much. I couldn’t remember much about the night but it was an exceptionally beautiful evening and I could stay in that room for longer than I thought, standing there and listening to them take over the reality. ‘Wasting My Young Years’ and ‘Strong’ made me emotional for a while, as if the world goes slo-mo with the lights beaming and criss-crossing, I was in absolute bliss. ‘Metal & Dust’ as encore song was absolutely incredible live, powered by Dot’s drumming, great way to close the show and definitely leaves an impression.
Some funny moment when Dan, which was at the end of other side of stage, tried to crack a joke but failed miserably and charmingly. Your typical shy guy who could still feel the nerves talking to 2000 odd people after countless live shows. Beautiful Hannah, even more so in real life, has a really outgoing attitude despite the lots of interview saying she herself has stage fright. She sounds flawless, albeit caught her coughing/clearing up the throat a few times, figured she might still be recovering from the cold. I particularly enjoyed it when she picked up her ‘favorite’ audience from the crowd after ‘Nightcall’. Apparently a guy was wearing earplugs throughout the show, Hannah noticed him and joked about him offending the band by doing so. I can only imagine being in that guy’s position and became red with guilt, but it doesn’t matter because the band actually signed some merch for him at the end of the show. Moral of the story : wear earplug to LG gigs. The rest of the show went enjoyably and I managed to record a few songs and took some pictures. The show was a short period of 55 minutes top, including encore. A bit disappointed they didn’t perform If You Wait, namely because I think the venue asked the band to finish early since there was another event coming up later that evening so they need to pack up and rearrange things. I certainly hope so and not because the band was expecting another encore. Like, is that actually possible? Two encores in a gig? I wonder.
Off to pictures:
And footagezzzz :
Wow this post has amounted to be one of my longest post ever! Talk about something I’m really good at babbling on. Well, I think it’s fit to say that this gig is one of the most unforgettable one i’ve been, considering i left the venue feeling really happy and content with my decision to come and watch them. I also feel the slightest tinge of anger to my friends who are so lucky to have ‘this tip-hop trio’ performing in their university tonight, but don’t even want to go and see them. I’ll see them biting their nails when the band wins Best British Breakthrough in the Brits. London Grammar have one debut album, and it has converted me to a full time fan. I cannot wait to see what they have in store (or iTunes) in the future, and I will be there again for sure on their next gig.
Typing on Monday morning, it’s the start of the week and it’s the start of another battle with my dissertation. I can only hope I find my bandmates and/or discover what I want to do with my life this week. ffs.