Picture this: a venue packed with swaying fans, artificial smoke drifting across the stage in an idyllic fashion and a fantastic sort of flash-bulb backdrop that makes pretty patterns and rhythmic sequences to match the beat of the music.

This is the setting for the Nottingham home-coming gig for London Grammar, who dedicated their time to music following their graduation from the local university in 2011.

Although the band came on stage a little than their planned time, all was forgotten when they opened with a mystical rendition of 'Hey Now' from their debut album If You Wait, which got the crowd geared up for what the London-born band were about to offer.

This was followed by 'Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me', a lesser-known track from their early Metal & Dust EP which few seemed to recognise, but despite this the band performed with poise and perfection. It was the next song which really kicked the performance into action as the band acquired the help of three string players to assist them in performing 'Interlude', during which the crowd watched silently, endeared by the flawless vocals of lead singer Hannah Reid who expressed her multi-talents as an artist as she played the piano throughout the track.

Following this Hannah took the chance to speak to the crowd, speaking about the days when she used to come to the Nottingham venue at which they were performing, Rock City, and when she was "once sick over there in that corner." Later on in the set, guitarist Dan Rothman took the chance to thank the crowd for their support and spoke at how overwhelmed he was to be back in the city where it all started, clearly overwhelmed by the progression that the trio had made in such a short amount of time.


I was surprised by the lack of crowd activity for 'Wasting My Young Years', which came after an emotive rendition of 'Shyer'. I had expected 'Wasting My Young Years' to be the song where the crowd sang along religiously but that didn’t come until the much-loved cover of 'Nightcall' from the Drive soundtrack. The crowd gave the track a buzz and ramped it up despite its moody, downbeat theme.

Following equally as satisfying performances of 'Flickers', 'Sights' and 'Stay Away', the band closed their set with 'Strong,' which provoked a similar reaction to 'Nightcal'l. 'Strong' was a firm crowd favourite and the entire venue assisted Hannah in singing along.

The encore was where the show reached an intensifying climax. The band selected the title-track from the album If You Wait, which was probably the performance of the night. Stepping away from the melancholic tones of If You Wait, the band belted out the more up-beat Metal & Dust which presented the crowd with beaming lights and a huge drum set. A fantastic and sort of surprising finish.

Overall, London Grammar have undeniably cemented themselves as a band that are not just capable of recording fantastic music, but performing it to a near-perfect level live.



Photos taken at London Grammar's Cambridge show.