Heaven, London – 27.09.18
Do you think Let’s Eat Grandma will regret the name if they’re still touring as Grandmas? Probably not. You get the idea from their art and their stage presence that being overly concerned by what people think about any aspect of their band isn’t really a thing for them. Rather, the duo retain the child-like quality that saw two infant friends become bandmates in their early teens, and it’s reflected by how the now 19-year olds skip around the stage before throwing themselves on the floor, and barely acknowledging the audience throughout (aside from thank yous at the end, which is fine). While some children wish for fame and fortune, you get the impression that the plan Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth put together was more about creativity and doing good with it; indeed, the platform they’ve created is being used this weekend to raise awareness of female and non-binary artists.
But back to Heaven, where last week a sold out crowd were treated to a 9-song set, with all but one track coming from I’m All Ears, their second album released in June of this year. Vocally, the duo carry the shadowy angst of Lorde, but musically it’s a melting pot; the structures of Pink Floyd, electronics with more than a hint of trap, poetry-like lyrics that nod to Kate Bush. While Hot Pink is harsh and industrial, It’s Not Just Me is probably their most accessible track – all key-shifting keys and clap clap percussion – and will probably be the track that CHVRCHES‘ fans give in to when LEG open for them on an upcoming European and UK tour.
Cool & Collected, at almost 10 minutes, is an epic – where stark guitar blends with dramatic vocals and harsh harmonies – whereas Ava is pure & simply piano and solo vocals. Just as it does on the album, Donnie Darko closes the main set, the intro effects making their mark before the beat kicks in 3 and a half minutes in (the point where most pop tracks would have finished), in the same unorthodox fashion – and with other similarities – as a New Order anthem. And finally, for their encore, the duo recognise their debut, I, Gemini – a hazier, more ambient affair – with Deep Six Textbook. If you’re heading to see CHVRCHES, get there early and don’t miss your chance to see this live artpop installation ahead of the main show.