Little Dragon at the Roundhouse
Taking to the stage amidst blue and red lights with the air full of mist, Little Dragon wouldn’t seem out of place on the set of Stranger Things. Since their formation in 1996, the Swedish four-piece have five studio albums under their belts and, having toured with the likes of Gorillaz, they have certainly learned how to put on a good show.
Opening with the enchanting A New from their 2009 record Machine Dreams, lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s impressive stage presence captivated those not already possessed by her soft, mystical vocals. They followed with the faster-paced Little Man and Sweet from their latest album, Season High, and the crowd really woke up, all the way to back, with Håkan Wirenstrand on the keys really coming into his own to fill the room with a truly unique and vibrant sound. Each song had elements from classic 80s pop, but never without the group’s own twists and turns that the audience happily flowed with.
Erik Bodin and Fredrik Källgren Wallin on the drums and bass guitar respectively made sure the Roundhouse was never without a good beat; Bodin pulling off some fantastic drum solos didn’t stop Nagano from lending a hand when the beat really began to pick up with Push, also from Season High. The highlight of the gig had to be the frontwoman’s “feminist ballad” Feather from Machine Dreams. The lyrics tell of the singer shrugging off the expectation of commitment from life and love, leaving the audience wondering if she will fly away or not. Nagano was certainly keen to show the crowd some love, however, who were only too happy to give it right back.
The atmosphere of the Roundhouse only added to the excellent performance, with the light show intensifying the mystical and even somewhat science-fiction feel of the band, especially when coupled with the heavy, almost Blade Runner-esque bass lines of Klapp Klapp. For anyone last night who was after slow, melodic vocals or fast, trance-inducing bass, Little Dragon seemed to have it all down perfectly, and delivered a truly enchanting, electric and entrancing performance.
Connor James Ibbetson
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit the Little Dragon website here.
Watch the video for Klapp Klapp here: