13th April | Lantern
As the lights dim within The Lantern, Let’s Eat Grandma dive straight into ‘Hot Pink,’ their brash and enlivening single, which has gathered real excitement behind Norwich pair, Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth. So begins a set with technical difficulties and a sadly disjointed performance, that finds the duo at a crossroads as they explore new territory as a group.
Unfortunately the sound doesn’t blossom as much as hoped. It sounds quite flat, which leads to a performance that in turn feels static, not helped by an unanimated crowd. The spectral pop of ‘Falling Into Me’ could be so much more dynamic live, yet as they softly coo “it’s all crystal clear,” it’s evident that there is just something missing. Maybe some wide-eyed spotlights would accentuate the ecstasy of the phrase, or more layered synths could be woven within.
The new singles arrive almost immediately within the set. Although in a different atmosphere they would liven up a festival crowd almost instantaneously, here they could have been more spaced out and created a more balanced energy, rather than accentuating the stark differences between their styles.
The quirky dance moves that the duo suddenly break into through the set are individualistic and quite loose, and you wish you could see more of that side of them. Yet by being inhibited by their instruments, they’re unable to let loose fully and it feels restricted. Furthermore, the addition of a drummer alongside them feels quite disconnected as a whole. If it were just the two of them performing, to either a backing track or to a full band, it would perhaps liberate them and allow them to express themselves more passionately through their movement.
The earlier, more atmospheric work from their first record still remains hypnotic, if disjointed. The technical difficulties the duo suffer are difficult to amend, and perhaps something that must be quite difficult to recover from. It’s kudos to them that they still power through, and by the end, their more experimental penchants start to shine. ‘Deep Six Textbook’ still blushes with ethereal mysticism, as they partake in their now familiar Pat-A-Cake routine. The nostalgia and freedom of childhood is evoked and reminds you of the instinctively emotive impression they leave.
It’s perhaps down to a range of elements that the show doesn’t quite live up to expectations. The anticipation that the new record has created is only just beginning to be explored live. The pair being in this process of reinvention, it could quite understandably take time to find their footing with combining their more spectral new work with their dark and eerie introductions.
There are certainly glimmers of hope, and the nerves that surface from the technical difficulties can’t help ease any fears. Yet their performance doesn’t deserve the practically lifeless interaction of the crowd. Being immersed within a set can be explained away, but this feels disinterested, which ultimately plays a large part in the lack of atmosphere that dominates the Lantern tonight.