London Grammar


Sydney Opera House Monday 25th & Tuesday 26th September 2017

London Grammar wrapped up their current Australian tour with two sold out shows in the Sydney Opera House Main Concert Hall in late September.

These inaugural shows in the Sydney Opera House were the perfect mechanism to highlight the depth and beauty of Hannah Reid’s vocals. The intimacy of this venue with crystal clear sound is definitely the place to see such a band as London Grammar.

Previous tours have seen them play the Metro Theatre, Paddington Town Hall, Enmore Theatre, Hordern Pavilion and Field Day Festival but these two shows stood out for me as London Grammar had more material to draw upon with the release of their new album “Truth is a beautiful thing” which was released in June, and often in other venues the sound can get lost. The Hordern Pavilion is not the ideal venue for this band as many will attest from the previous week.

The show started with Hannah singing “Rooting for you“, unaccompanied for the first minute and a half. You could hear a pin drop in the concert hall as everyone listened intently to the haunting and powerful vocal delivery. Dan Rothman and Dominic (Dot) Major slowly joined in with guitar and keys and I could tell that this night was going to be special. The unbridled joy of London Grammar is that Dan and Dot are quite prepared to support Hannah with minimal accompaniment. They do not drown out her vocals with their playing, are modest and let Hannah have the limelight.

“Hell to the liars” was a standout with Hannah’s skills on the piano and “Non Believers” has such a catchy hook that it was great to hear them play this song live to an Australian audience for the 1st time this tour. “Big Picture” even got the crowd on their feet, and most stayed on their toes to sing along to “Strong”, with Hannah challenging each side of the room to sing louder than the other side, which was fun.

Hannah took time to thank Triple J for their support and acknowledged that Australia was the firstcountry to rally behind them and that Australia has their biggest fan base in the world.

A three song encore including “Oh woman Oh man” rounded out a short but quality set of songs. London Grammar played for 75 minutes or so and I do wonder if Hannah can’t physically sing for any longer. A sip of honey/tea between songs might help a little but she has said in the past that she becomes extremely tired as the set progresses. She has the best voice of her generation, gives it everything she’s got and needs to preserve that voice so I totally understand.

Every time London Grammar perform it is a joy. This time they raised the bar even higher and it was truly magical. These 2 shows will live long in the memory. It is a shame that these shows were not recorded as originally planned for a DVD. Here’s hoping they are next time.

Adrian Alders

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