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.

Little Dragon perform “Ritual Union”, “Crystalfilm”, “My Step”, “Precious” and “Twice” at the Button Factory in Dublin, Ireland

“Ritual Union” (I can be seen in this video. I will not say where.):

“Crystalfilm” (Thank you, Lynn!):

More: Ritual Union, Precious, My Step, and Twice.

Little Dragon thrill Dublin City’s Button Factory

Last night I watched Little Dragon defeat the bitter cold that the city of Dublin was offering our Tuesday night with a stupendous, heated two-hour set that brought thrills to cramped legs and sweat to cold brows, and, mostly importantly, a musical and community experience unlikely to be matched for some time yet. Each song – among them, the opening “When I Go Out”, “Looking Glass”, “Ritual Union”, and the encore’s “Little Man”, “Blinking Pigs” and “Twice” – stretched into another-world audioscape jam that filled a tightened sold-out room of exhilarated and ravenous fans with a shared ecstasy. “Little Man”’s ending, especially, felt like a rock crescendo with the whole front row thrashing their heads back and forth in unison to surging and diving crashes of sound. There was great elements of theatre, too, with Yukimi entering the stage in a white one piece item of clothing, and glitter mask, before unclothing to reveal something similar to this.

Excitingly, the show was Ritual Union LP heavy, with the band, accompanied by the ever brilliant Arild Werling, almost playing the record in its entirety, with the exception of “NightLight”. I’m unsure how to relate a music event like this back to a person who hasn’t yet experienced it. All adjectives prove useless, this is true. All comparisons are foolish and almost always unsavoury: how does one compare Little Dragon to anything else? Those who have experienced Little Dragon in a live environment understand the moment, the post concert rise of self and soon after the clasping post concert blues. If you haven’t caught them live, then do you and your life a favour and correct that mistake.

Here’s my attempt at compiling a set list. The order is incorrect, but the list is 95% correct, I’m sure (my mind is still in a happy haze). Set-list:

“When I Go Out”, “Looking Glass”, “My Step”, “Feather”, “Swimming”, “Ritual Union”, “Brush The Heat”, “Shuffle A Dream”, “Please Turn”, “Crystalfilm”, “Precious”, “Summertearz”


“Little Man”, “Blinking Pigs”, “Twice”

Little Dragon’s Irish show has venue change due to growing demand

Due to popular demand, Swedish electro merchants Little Dragon have moved their upcoming Dublin show from Crawdaddy to The Button Factory. All original tickets sold for the Crawdaddy gig are valid for the Temple Bar venue, and the date remains Tuesday November 29. Tickets for The Button Factory show priced €15 are currently available from Ticketmaster and all usual outlets. Source.