As most of you are aware, the now mighty London Grammar have had a pretty successful 12 months, including a super fast selling debut album If You Wait, reaching No.2 in the Official UK Chart, numerous TV appearances around the world, a whole bunch of festivals and of course an awful lot of support from us here at Amazing Radio.
You can read a bit more about our history with the three-piece by clicking here, but to give you a feel of what their current UK tour is like, we had trusty contributor Scott Hastie tell us all about the show last night in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter for a video interview with the band, and a photo gallery of the night from Ruth Kilpatrick.
Northumbria University’s Student Union in Newcastle is completely packed out tonight and it’s all a bit manic before the show even starts. There are piles of students barging through each other trying to get a drink and the hall, which is a fair size, has no empty space left. The stage itself is a long, dimly lit raised platform. There’s a small table with an effects pedal set up that would make any guitarist jealous, and an enormous structure off to the right filled with various percussion instruments, and in the middle there’s a sole microphone, along with a piano sitting silently in the background. Expectations are high.
It’s Dan who comes out first, experimenting with the sounds he can make with his guitar. Dot appears next, creating a brooding sound before the crowd scream for Hannah Reid to come out. When she does, they do not go straight into opener and latest single Hey Now, but rather jam their way into it. The two guys show off the sounds that London Grammar are all about. Isolated guitar lines, dark bass sounds and Hannah’s vocal range, which truly has to be seen to be believed, set the entire tone. Hannah can light up a room with the highs and catch people off guard with the low notes. Once they get into the track it’s note for note perfect and the crowd show their appreciation pretty loudly compared to their response to what the support acts got tonight.
It’s not long before Hannah sits down at her piano to play Interlude, further wowing the audience with her musical talent. She rather shyly thanks the crowd for attending before ironically launching into Shyer, the chorus of which is a highlight of the night. It’s Dot who speaks now, thanking the crowd for coming and warning them that the band have only started playing the next song Sights on this tour. They clearly had no need to hesitate as it was one of the best received songs of the night and one of the louder of the set.
Later into the gig, Dan also speaks up, apologising for the re-scheduling of the original show and bringing up their recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show. He then pays homage to Kavinsky and the film Drive, where Nightcall found it’s global platform. It’s a wonderful performance, the drums and guitars kicking in three quarters of the way through, such a big sound for an often modest, fairly reserved band. Hannah takes the time to have some on stage fun, picking out a fan who she had thought was taking a tissue to cry to their songs, but actually ended up just sneezing instead. This led into Strong which for the first time tonight, a large part of the crowd joined in with. The harmonising at the end was a magical way to finish off their main set.
After seeing a lot of performances on television and online, normally quite a mellow affair, it was surprisingly refreshing to see the band all really happy with their performance, and interacting with the fans. They came back out to give us a great rendition of If You Wait and finished up with Metal & Dust which again, the crowd joined in with. When the song was done and the crowd were cheering them off, the band walked off all smiles, with Dot and Dan giving each other a pat on the back. Newcastle, conquered, next stop Glasgow.”