London Grammar @ Rock City, 31/01/2014

“This is a very special show for us” are the first words London Grammar’s front-woman Hannah Reid says to the crowd before telling us how the band met at UoN, and how the very venue they’re playing is one of their old haunts. Within seconds of the first song, a lengthened version of Hey Now, it becomes obvious that the band really are giving it everything they’ve got as Reid’s hauntingly beautiful voice shines over the guitarists, captivating the crowd.

Opening the show tonight is singer-songwriter Kyan whose wonderfully rich voice compliments his emotional lyricism. Unfortunately the early start means he draws a far smaller crowd than his music deserves, though his debut single Rosetta definitely impresses those who are present. Next up is Dan Croll who picks up the tempo with his upbeat indie songs. Although they may lack the same personal feel as some of the other artists performing tonight, Croll’s songs a nice way of exciting the crowd before the headlining act.

When London Grammar grace the stage for their twelve song set they do a good job of weaving their upbeat songs around more mellow tracks, keeping the mood in the room from getting too chilled. Interestingly, the biggest reaction of the night, prompting a mass singalong, is the band’s only cover, the brilliant Nightcall. For the rest of the night the fans stay subdued, a lot of the gig is being watched through a sea of camera phones – seemingly ironic during the song Wasting My Younger Years as it really did seem like a waste.

The encore starts with an emotional speech from the band about how important this all is to of them, and it can be seen from the sea of fans in the room and the sold out tour that this is only the beginning for a band who were almost unknown a year ago.

by Irini Kounoupias