Paddington Town Hall Thursday 5th January 2017
A rare opportunity to see London Grammar perform to 650 invited guests at the Paddington Town Hall was grabbed with both hands as tickets to this show were only offered by a ballot through Secret Sounds. A total of more than 7000 people applied for tickets, so being at this show really was like holding the golden ticket.
London Grammar are no strangers to the shores of Australia, having particular success in their careers infancy. “Australia really was the first place that liked us’’ said Hannah Reid and continued, “We are liked back home but I guess we are English so it’s not the same”. As much as Australia is a special place for London Grammar, the love is well and truly reciprocated with previous tours being well sold out months before their arrival. Previous Sydney gigs have been held at the Metro, Hordern Pavilion and Enmore Theatres (all sold out) so tonight’s show in a different venue added to the allure of the show.
London Grammar last toured in March 2015 after extensively touring their 2013 album “If you wait” for several years and have been working on new material.
Tonight’s show included 3 new songs, “Hell to the Liars”, “Rooting for You” and “Wild Eyed” which do not deviate too far from the signature London Grammar sound. Hannah Reid’s voice is truly captivating and majestic and doesn’t get lost or overpowered in the instrumentation supported by Dan Rothman (guitar) and Dot Major (keys and percussion).
“Nightcall” is a good choice that opens the set, followed by “Flickers”, “Interlude”, “Shyer” and “Wasting my Young Years” providing the crowd a good opportunity to have a hearty singalong.
New Years day saw the worldwide release of the video clip and song for “Rooting for You” and tonight is one of the first chances to hear this song performed live. Hannah amusingly tells us “Apparently in Australia “Rooting for you” has quite a different meaning and had I known that, I would have never used those words” which brings a raucous collective laugh from the audience. The song is just beautiful and will no doubt be heard on many radio stations in the near future.
“Sights”, "Stay Awake” and “Hey now” round out the set before the obligatory encore, which incidentally London Grammar are not big fans of.
“I don’t see the point of an encore.You know we are coming back so why don’t we just stay’’ says Hannah to the auditorium filled with laughter.
The crowd encourages them back (of course) and another new song “Wild Eyed” is met with much enthusiasm. “Strong” and “Metal and Dust” complete the night’s entertainment and once again we leave the auditorium knowing that we just experienced something truly special.
London Grammar will return to Australia and when they do this writer will look forward to seeing them again for the 9th time.