Review: Little Dragon at the Liquid Rooms by Is This Music

Little Dragon sure do know how to get a capacity gig moving. From the balcony to the bar to the faithful fanatics at the front, feet were shuffling and the crowd were grooving along to the electro pop sounds blasting from this hotly-tipped Swedish outfit.

I came to have a nosey at what all the noise was about as currently they appear to have some amount of hype about them. After being together for ten years, this is only their third album. I was aware they had been involved with Gorillaz, collaborating with TV on the Radio, Raphael Saadiq and are favoured by the P Diddy. Not a bad CV already. I really loved the melodic slow R&B number they did with DJ Shadow, ‘Scale It Back’, last year, so to see them at the Liquid Rooms was an opportunity not to be missed.

Rhythmic, metromic sounds suited this venue and its audience very well with Yukimi Nagano’s serene light voice being heard perfectly over the moody synths and snare hits. Like a magical pixie she was never far from a cowbell and is a lady who enjoys a fair amount of percussion. She is one cool kid. She had the kind of outfit on that if you tried to replicate it you would look like you had run blind backwards through H&M. However unlike us mere mortals Nagano looks amazing and sounds it too.

Her voice is smoky, distinctive but powerful a beautiful accompaniment to the very tight drums, electropop beats and loops. The tunes follow into each other many without introduction, but from the off the crowd are getting into their dancing shoes. The band, apart from the red beared keyboardist, all came out to rave away centre stage too. If the crowd has half as good a time as the band they would have gone home delighted with themselves.

They covered their recent album Ritual Union and gave a very good account of the 14 songs in their set with extended versions of many. ‘Little Man’ and ‘Ritual Union’ were stand-out songs for me. At five songs in we were asked to film ‘Shuffle the Dream’ and upload this to their website to contribute to their next video. The crowd looked like they were sponsored by Apple.

Little Dragon’s energy on stage makes for a rave /clubbing- like experience and I had to check it was Tuesday night rather than a Friday.
The funkier Princesque Precious ended the set and their obligatory encore of ‘Fright Night’, ‘Little Man’ and ‘Twice’ were all lapped up by the clubby cool cats surrounding me. Nagano said she had a Spinal Tap moment as she had said it was good to be back and then realised she announced it was their first time in Edinburgh. She was forgiven.

You can fall into their music, have a listen and then see them live. To quote my faithful gig going buddy VM: “I went liking them and have left loving them”. Yep, Little Dragon give you no choice but to dance. Catch them where you can… hopefully at some festivals later in the summer. Source.

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