Vada had the opportunity to review one of 2013’s true success stories last night at the O2 Academy in Birmingham. London Grammar previously performed a modest set in the upstairs room last October, yet due to the incredible response to their debut album If You Wait, the band had no trouble selling out the huge main room.
Opening with the tender new single ‘Hey Now’, Hannah Reid appeared illuminated from behind which added to the ghostly qualities of her vocal as she vocally somersaulted over a stripped down acoustic bridge before her bandmates opened the track up with a barrage of bass and synth. The production on this tour is incredible when compared to it’s predecessor, the moody lighting shone upon the audience as the deep riffs of ‘Darling, Are You Gonna Leave Me?’ began and Hannah crooned whilst Dot impressively beat out a strong rhythm on bongo drum.
The crowd’s adoration grew further as the reverberated bass began to the tones of ‘Wasting My Young Years’ and mass singalong broke out to this heart breaking and balladic pop gem. The band have visibly improved their live ability when the transformation in the likes of ‘Shyer’ and ‘Stay Awake’ is apparent as Hannah experiments with more vocal techniques whilst the boys have perfected their talents on multiple instruments to create more than just live music, but atmosphere within these gigantic venues.
My personal highlight was a phenomenal rendition of ‘Sights’, complete with flood lighting and a goose bump inducing break within the chorus as the whole audience felt a chill as you realise we were viewing the beginning of something incredibly special. ‘Nightcall’ had a similar effect as the sparse piano intro began and you prepared for the deafening crescendo as green light rained down on the audience and cheers reached the rafters.
The group finished with a beautiful rendition of ‘Strong’ before returning for an encore of contrast as Hannah seemed to free flow on the album’s title track with incredible skill before an evolved performance of ‘Metal & Dust’. This track has been stripped to it’s vocal core and injected with pulsing synth and that brilliant 90’s style riff whilst the final chorus expands and turns into old school house with strobe lighting and a hypnotising bridge. London Grammar have easily proved themselves to be the next British prodigy and I tip them to follow in the footsteps of fellow live legends such as Foals and Florence & the Machine.