London Grammar live at Night + Day festival
How do good manners go down on a festival stage? Unnoticed it seems.
Billed as the new the xx, super polite London Grammar managed to pull a decent crowd at Night + Day despite being a brand new act and tackling the notoriously difficult opening time slot.
What was more disappointing than the bad weather was the crowd being pre-occupied with chatter, sucking on bottles of cider, and arguing over whose fault the forgotten umbrellas were. Shame, they missed out on what was actually a rather astounding performance.
Bullied towards to the back of the stage by the incessant rain, the trio were incredibly loud, but incredibly nervous. Their sound though massive and proud, booming through the exceptionally good set up the xx had chosen, seemed wasted on the ears of Saturday’s rowdy crowd of revellers. Unfortunately, London Grammar’s stage presence lagged behind the volume like an anxious toddler refusing to leave the safety of its mother’s leg. Sound and picture just didn’t add up.
Front woman Hannah Reid was as reserved as Romy of the xx was in the early days. Stood tall and still like a virginal choir girl with hands clasped together, wearing a modest outfit of jeans and a grey cardigan, Hannah’s voice was undeniably beautiful, but her conservative approach to live performance let her down. Her fellow band mates Dan Rothman and Dot Major work tirelessly and faultlessly in her shadow producing an epic backdrop for her truly stunning vocals. They played 5 eloquent, articulate songs, ending with Metal and Dust – Hannah’s favourite, she told us with a quiet little giggle.
Exceptional they are, and just as the xx had to learn the art of performance, so will London Grammar if they want to conquer the demanding festival audience. Manners go a long way, but stage presence requires command not submission.