hmv.com reviews... Little Dragon @ London's Somerset House
The summer series of gigs at London's Somerset House came to an end last night with a blinder from Little Dragon, here's our full review...
Little Dragon. Swedish electronic outfit with a neo-soul edge formed in 1996. Currently touring new record Nabuma Rubberband, which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page.
Somerset House, London.
Any good supports?
An extremely interesting French musician called Sebastien Tellier opened for Little Dragon, providing a cheerful and warm introduction to another night at the Somerset House Series. Singing (and speaking) predominantly in French and Spanish, his set was well-received by the crowd, and his interactions with us between melodic guitar rhythms added particular charm to his performance.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
By the time Little Dragon graced the stage, the space was crowded, energetic and positive (despite off-an-on rain). The crowd were respectful of personal space, which is always a bonus, and on the whole, the general atmosphere was reflective of people who turned up to genuinely appreciate the music rather than cause any unnecessary havoc.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
Little Dragon’s four studio albums were brilliantly intermixed throughout their set, with time given to both old and new tracks almost evenly. Having recently released Nabuma Rubberband in May this year, quite a bit of focus was on that - with ‘Paris’ getting the crowd incredibly excitable. Midway through the set, or thereabouts, front woman Yukimi Nagano asked the crowd whether or not we’d like to hear one of their earliest-recorded songs, which turned out to bring a fantastic and raw edge to the set. The sound throughout the performance was unbelievably crisp for an outdoor venue - all instruments working together fluently and in crushing harmony. This was a performance by a band whose experience and consistent strength has resulted in natural and completely professional live structure.
Any good between song banter?
As far as banter is concerned, Little Dragon weren’t the most quotable band we’ve seen. Instead, Yukimi went with a more audience-appreciative angle, thanking everyone for coming out and supporting them since day one, giving a few shout-outs to London, that sort of stuff. It was sweet.
Did they put on much of a show?
The show was a spectacle to behold with the lighting - lasers, a few strobes, all wonderfully colourful and suited to the music. Although at times it did get a little too much, especially during the most powerful musical parts of the concert.
What was the highlight of the set?
There are several, and they all have something to do with Yukimi’s dance moves. Making full use of the space, she would unexpectedly break into action at random times, which was brilliant fun to watch.
Where can I catch them next?
If you’re going to Secret Garden Party, make sure you catch Little Dragon there. If not, they have a couple more UK dates this year - Brighton Corn Exchange on November 17th, and O2 Academy Brixton on November 27th.
Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp