Hot Press review Little Dragon at the Button Factory

On the off chance that you fear dreamy Scandinavian trip pop, I’d say it’s about time you got all worked up about Gothenburg quintet Little Dragon, who, after a decade of relative obscurity, are about to become downright unavoidable.

As well as appearing on Gorillaz’ A Plastic Beach last year, the band are currently guesting on the new DJ Shadow record, on the rather lovely ‘Scale It Back’. Now that Little Dragon have officially reached Indie Darling status (just ask The Huffington Post…), there’s no escaping these visceral Swedes, even if you are planning to avoid every single Album Of The Year list published this month (recent LP Ritual Union will no doubt appear on many of them).
Little Dragon’s last Irish visit was just over a year ago, when they played to a crowd of around 300 people in Crawdaddy, but popularity has denied them a return to Harcourt St. This time around, the location is the 750-capacity Button Factory, which, when I arrive unfashionably early, is already positively heaving with bodies.

Squirming about in a white robe, singer and tambourine thruster elite Yukimi Nagano leads the on-stage commotion, which includes drums, bass, keyboards, synthesisers and a selection of futuristic-sounding bells and whistles. She then announces, through the medium of costume change, that it’s time to dance. Within the first few moments of the infectious ‘Ritual Union’, the venue is transformed into a discotheque, a perfect haven for club-hoppers and art pop nerds alike. Hard-hitting party track ‘My Step’ keeps shoulders bopping, and although another newbie, ‘Nightlight’ is far more experimental, it, too, has the desired effect on the crowd.

Between the Guetta-sized build-ups and quirky percussion solos, there are a couple of threadbare numbers, but either backdrop, light show or Nagano’s glow-in-the-dark fingernails always manage to hold our attention.

On record, the Little Dragon sound is sometimes hampered by that all-too-familiar Scandinavian frostiness, but tonight almost every tune feels warm and welcoming. Even ‘Twice’, the band’s major heartbreak moment from 2007, sounds friendly and intimate. It also proves that these five highly-skilled musicians could bluff their way through a performance in any genre, and that at least 750 mesmerised patrons are willing to follow them wherever they go. Source.