LOCAL NATIVES are by now known for their distinguished taste in music and art. Thus it is no surprise they turned O2 Academy Brixton into a major pilgrimage place for Indie-lovers by inviting much-hyped UK band BIG DEAL additionally to their UK tour-support CLOUD CONTROL for their last week’s London gig. When the doors opened at 7pm sharp, the crowd literally squeezed themselves into the impressive main hall of the venue. Unfortunately, the first thing to be noticed was the stench, but even London’s National Gallery stinks like White Trash Fast Food after a folly night of Rock’n’Roll Bingo, so you just have to deal with it. The time schedule was solid. Just as everyone was fully supplied with beer and stance, BIG DEAL entered the stage to warm up the audience. The duo was highly praised throughout the media last year, but maybe had too much of the taste of their own hype and performed their set in the most unemotional manner. If this was meant to be coolness I definitely found myself freezing to the bones.
CLOUD CONTROL were to follow, starting with their charismatic interlude Scream Rave . Frontman and singer Alister Whrigt definitely made an appearance. Wearing a hoodie over his cap, the young man loosened up on stage while literally screaming into the mic with stunning devotion. Hazy pop-hymn Dojo Rising came second, followed by a true masterpiece of canon A capella performed by all the bandmembers for their song Promises’. Actually not a bad start for CLOUD CONTROL in order to reach the popularity of their role models ARCADE FIRE or WEEZER some day (read our recent interview right here).
By the time the venue got more and more crowded and at 9.30 it was finally time for the LOCAL NATIVES. The band started their show with their first single of their latest record Hummingbird, Breakers, which is a brilliant track to get the crowds going, though in general the audience was pretty quiet and enjoying the sophisticated and accurate music. The track was followed by the last single of the first record called World News and surprisingly caused even more ardour. In general people just seemed more familiar with the old songs. Starting a show with two well-known and catchy masterpieces like this is sometimes a risk, as you might think it can’t get any better, but honestly this band continuously performed at highest level: perfect harmonies, hyperactive drums, all well-timed and also the performance itself was lovely in its natural way – you could just see that they are playing an awful lot together. After about an hour the band went off stage, but the crowd cheered for more: Heavy Feat , Colombia and Sun Hands – a finish you can’t imagine any better. For Columbia Taylor and Kelcey swapped positions, so Kelcey on the guitar and Taylor on the keys.
You can’t really describe the thoughtful atmosphere caused by that song, a magical moment everyone should experience. The last song probably induced the most singing and dancing. What makes an awesome live-show is usually not just the band – you should never forget the rest of the people that are involved – for example the lighting engineers, who really did a great job. The lightshow was adapted very well to the mood of each songand a highlight was probably little yellow moving lights that reminded of stars throughout the last few songs of the show. Last thing to mention, Nik Ewing who usually plays the base for LOCAL NATIVES on tour is now an official member of the band and he definitely proved that it was a brilliant decision. All in all one of the best shows ever that was well-received and appreciated by the audience – a show that reminded us that music is so much more than just a product of industries.
Article by Lisa Eberhart and Anne Tetzner