Jenny of at Rough Trade for my third Let's Eat Grandma concert, writes Anya Fogg, I was surprised to notice the demographic change from similarly weird teenage girls to middle aged men. Since their shows at Leeds festival in 2018 and 2019, I guess we've all grown up... some more than others.
Now sporting hair cut above their waists and musicianship beyond their years, Rosa and Jenny of Let’s Eat Grandma (LEG) display the hallmarks of an act who entered the game as prodigies and never rested on that laurel. With each album exploring new territory for the band in a twisting wander through some haunted woodland, it seems that with Two Ribbons we have emerged in a clearing, suspended in animation since the 1980s, campfire still crackling, familiar synthesisers escaping from a rusted radio, and some curious gold spandex beckoning.
"All peppered with saxophone solos atop the dark pop backdrop- not a musical itch was left unscratched"
Rough Trade’s stage burst to life with the performative fireworks of 'Happy New Year'. Rosa leading, lit in orange, Jenny in gold - LEG welcomed us to the new album. High energy and optimistic, the bouncing celebration of the autobiographical “you'll always be my best friend and look at what I made with you”, set the scene for the most tonally diverse LEG show yet.
From the sombre 'Watching You Go' to the elating 'Levitation'; harkening way back to Deep Six Textbook, through the adolescent musings of 'Falling Into Me', and pushing forwards to the hopeful future of the new album Two Ribbons; moving us physically as well as emotionally with the perfect bass of 'Hot Pink'; and the atmospheric closure of 'Donnie Darko'; all the while peppered with saxophone solos atop the dark pop backdrop - not a musical itch was left unscratched.
Vocally emotive and instrumentally on point, yet the night was quaintly disturbed by the odd interruption. Summed up well by Rosa: “it wouldn’t be a LEG gig without technical difficulties”. I’ve known this to be true since Jenny’s X-shaped keyboard stand collapsed mid-song at Leeds festival and she simply collapsed with it and finished the set sat on the floor. This evening added to that repertoire with Jenny’s earpiece connecting to the speakers, giving Rosa some well-received time to joke with the audience over the blasting metronome. I even contributed a little myself by butt-dialing someone while trying to make notes for this review – fortunately, the ringtone added some synth to the intro of Two Ribbons and my friend thought it was part of the song. Let’s Eat Grandma’s resilience and humour underpinned the show back then and it still does now, leaving no doubt as to how they’ve survived as both best friends and as musicians.
My personal highlights were the times I was reminded of my history with this band. Having been introduced to LEG by the long-haired horror movie twins styled performance on the episode of Jools Holland my parents were watching in 2016, I was thrilled to be brought back to this the moment 'Deep Six Textbook' started, as Rosa and Jenny hung their heads low over the keyboards once more. Complete with clapping games, skipping off stage, and disappearing under instruments to lie on the floor, this band have certainly not abandoned their roots.
A heart-wrenching yet endlessly danceable, nostalgic evening with a band who are as able to entertain a cupboard of people as they are a full festival tent. I can’t give a much higher compliment than the fact that Let’s Eat Grandma have soundtracked a quarter of my life now - and if you don’t trust me, wander into their haunted woods to catch them in concert and find out for yourself.
Featured image courtesy of Let's Eat Grandma via Facebook. Videos courtesy of Let's Eat Grandma via YouTube.