One of the bands close to the very top of our hitlist of acts to see live was Little Dragon, a group with a pretty phenomenal track record when it comes to innovative, inventive music. Formed in Gothenburg just over 20 years ago, the quartet have spent most of their career ‘below the line’ somewhat, rarely bothering the upper echelons of the charts. This is mostly to do with their material being more predisposed to a more selective, perhaps even cult following than the mass market, but it’s all the better for it.
Much of this live performance was given over to the kind of stuff you are very unlikely to ever catch on the radio. There was all sorts there though, from trip-hop to dream pop and indietronica to trance, all delivered in Little Dragon’s own unique world; an otherworldly place full of bright lights and neon, with lead singer Yukimi Nagano – whose occasional tantrums in the studio when the group first formed inspired what would later become the band’s name – an energetic and entrancing stage presence throughout.
Nagano’s bewitching movements add real depth and feeling to the music, and it’s incredible that she can keep up such a performance without ever letting her flawless vocals suffer at any stage. She even managed a costume change halfway through, as well as a spell sharing the drum kit, providing some extra assistance for drummer Erik Bodin.
It was a wonderfully bass-heavy evening too, with the o2 Academy’s maintenance team almost certain to have to go around and tighten a few screws over the coming days in case they’ve worked themselves loose during several ‘wall of noise’ sections of the show.
Particular highlights included some of their biggest hits of course, most notably Sweet from this year’s Season High album, and Ritual Union from the 2011 album of the same name.
And to hammer home the point that this band are not afraid to be unconventional, there was a real downtempo finale in Twice, which not even the ridiculously loud-talking heathens in the bar at the back of the room could spoil. Bold, confident and mesmerising to watch, this was pure creative genius.
Photos © Sync Music Blog