LONDON GRAMMAR BRING 'TRUTH IS A BEAUTIFUL THING' TO EDINBURGH'S USHER HALL
Arrived at the Usher Hall, in plenty of time to get to our seats and catch Lo Moon from Los Angeles, a band I had not previously heard of until a few days previous. I had an idea of the mood they would be setting for the crowd due to them supporting London Grammar, although it was not what I expected it to be. The bands short and sweet thirty-minute set was a fierier, ambient and noteworthy set. They maintained a small presence on stage only speaking about how playing in venues such as the Usher Hall make being a musician worth while. The band finished their impressive five song set with Loveless. For being the first time seeing the band could not have faulted them.
On to London Grammar, the three band members surprisingly late in coming out to their only Scottish crowd on the tour. The crowd a mixture of all ages gave the band rapturous reception before the band got straight into the mix of things starting with Who Am I off their new album Truth Is a Beautiful Thing. The crowd some what relaxed compared to other gigs we instantly captured by the sonorous voice that Hannah Reid has. On completing Who Am I the band take time to a few moments to get set before going into Flickers, Dominic Major playing the bongos in such a way you could imagine a young university student would, just like when the band first started out. The song slid from Flickers into Help Me Lose My Mind, a collaboration the band done with Disclosure, the crowd loved it lapping up every minute of the song. The zibs and zabs of the Dominic on his keyboard complimented Hannah’s perfectly throughout the song. The band then go straight into their chart topping hit Wasting My Young Years, the nostalgia-soaked piano and Hannah Reid's ethereal vocals are a stunning combination, speckled with synths and guitars, whilst the insistent drums of the chorus create a throbbing sense of urgency. Next came the most powerful performance of the night for me, Hannah Reid’s raw talent was in abundance during the bands performance of Stay Awake, the vocal prescience she had during this track caught the minds of everyone its fair to say. Next song of the night was another from the bands new album called Hell to The Liars, a lot more subdued and relaxed feel about the song compared to others from so far on the night.
Before going into Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, Hannah tells the crowd about her Scottish roots and being half Scottish, all the while trying to say it in a somewhat questionable Scottish accent, good effort although it was clear to hear the London accent she has in there. According to Hannah Scottish find it offensive to take the mick out of the accent, although the Usher Hall crowd took the joke in good stead. After delivering another great vocal performance on Truth Is a Beautiful thing, the band then tell us about how the next song was the first song they recorded as three naïve kids, who posted it online and in the first day it received over fifty thousand hits. Hey Now has all the frost, solitude, and distant promise of that time, bearing a slighted but proud female vocal. On finishing Hey Now the band go straight into another from the debut album If You Wait, Sights. The song was another powerful performance by the band. The song managed to show off the great vocal talent that Hannah Reid, the power she was able to demonstrate from this song really captured the whole room. On completing the song, the band together all thanked their support band Lo Moon for touring with them, both the band and the audience gave them an applause that they defiantly deserved.
The next song of the night was the bands new song Non Believer, again the subtle sounds with the raw huskiness of Hannah’s voice made the performance stunning. After finishing Non Believer, Hannah takes time to speak with the crowd and tell them about, when the band completed the first album, she said she wouldn’t sing anymore songs with high notes because “frankly she couldn’t be arsed with it anymore “although as Hannah sits down and starts singing Routing for You, it becomes apparent weather she can’t be arsed or not, she has chosen to do it anyway. Hannah also said “singing this makes my legs go like jelly, so I’d have a better chance of hitting a high note if I sit down. “The song starts with an acapella, Hannah manages to reach some of the highest notes we’ve heard all night, to the surprise and delight of the Usher Hall crowd, it was during this moment we as a crowd I think realized just how much of a talent Hannah is, its clear to see that she is really all about the voice. After signing around half of the song as an acapella the music then starts and as a band they finish the song together.
Before playing Strong, guitarist Dan talks about the history of Edinburgh such as the castle and why the band love coming back to play in Scotland, he always talks about how he knows the Scottish can sing before playing the first chord to Strong. Throughout the song Hannah points the mic to the crowd to get them to sing parts of the song, even having a little word and saying the crowd was louder than the previous nights gig they had played, it definitely did create a great atmosphere within the room. As the night drew to an end, the band said this would be their last song finishing up with Big Picture, asking the room to sing along because they knew us Scots could do it, before quickly exiting the stage. Many fans had an idea this wouldn’t however be the final song, instead staying behind to see if the band would return, and a few minutes later they did to the delight of the crowd who had stayed behind in the hope that they would. Arriving back onto the stage the band got straight In to by playing Oh Woman Oh Man, the crowd somewhat energized by the band returning sang just as much as the song as the band did, making the return all the more better. They band now did confirm that their next song would be the final of the evening for the band, the emotional evening it had been for the band was coming to an end, not before performing a lively performance of Metal and Dust, the song accompanied by some great visuals and lighting was the perfect way to end the night for all those involved.
In all the gig was first class, Hannah Reid’s vocals were perfect throughout, itw was hard to believe that this was live rather than some pre recorded set and she wasn’t miming, you would have been mistaken for thinking that was the case, along with Dom and Dominic musical presence it’s hard to believe that the music just came from the three of them. It wasn’t a gig for jumping around but instead just standing and listening to the flawless live performance it was, the band definitely did not disappoint, I’m sure all the fans would be in agreement in that. Excellent Gig.
LONDON GRAMMAR'S TOUR CONTINUES:
Thurs October 26th 2017 : NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Fri October 27th 2017 : BRISTOL Colston Hall
Sun October 29th 2017 : NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE City Hall
Mon October 30th 2017 : LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Wed November 1st 2017 : DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Thurs November 2nd 2017 : BELFAST Waterfront Hall
Sun November 19th 2017 : LILLE Zenith de Lille
Mon November 20th 2017 : RENNES Le Liberte
Wed November 22nd 2017 : LUXEMBOURG Rockhal
Thurs November 23rd 2017 : AMSTERDAM AFAS Live
Sat November 25th 2017 : COLOGNE Palladium
Sun November 26th 2017 : BERLIN Velodrom
Tues November 28th 2017 : HAMBURG Mehr! Theater am Grobmarkt
Thurs November 30th 2017 : ZURICH Halle 622
Sat December 2nd 2017 : STRASBOURG Zenith de Strasbourg
Sun December 3rd 2017 : PARIS Zenith de Paris
Tues December 5th 2017 : TOULOUSE Zenith de Toulouse
Wed December 6th 2017 : LYON Halle Tony Garnier
Fri December 8th 2017 : STUTTGART Liederhalle Hegelsaal
Sat December 9th 2017 : MUNICH Tonhalle Munchen
Mon December 11th 2017 : ANTWERP Lotto Arena
Tues December 12th 2017 : ANTWERP Lotto Arena