AFTER three years of hard work and “a lot of self-reflection, soul searching and terrifying experimentation” London Grammar returned to the stage to perform their third album in unforgettable fashion.
The Ivor Novello Award-winning band transformed Alexandra Palace at the weekend into a musical haven of atmospheric blends of electronica and symphonic sounds for their new album Californian Soil.
The band, led by frontwoman Hannah Reid, delighted the crowd with hits from their debut 2013 double platinum-selling record If You Wait and 2017’s chart-topping Truth Is A Beautiful Thing.
As soon as the lights were dimmed, it was clear that the performance was going to be special.
Unleashing her remarkable voice, which has always been the centre of the band’s sound, it remained as powerful and mesmerising as ever.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Hannah said: “It was amazing to perform at Ally Pally.
“It’s a venue all three of us had been to a lot growing up. Seeing the crowd out there was really emotional.
“The album means everything to us. We worked really hard as a band to experiment and expand the borders of what London grammar is musically. We took risks.
“To be able to do that and then see our fans singing along to new material was so fulfilling.”
The trio, who will be supporting Coldplay as part of their 2022 world tour, said the moment will be a career highlight for them.
Hannah continued: “Supporting Coldplay is a dream come true!
“They are the biggest band in the world and have always been an inspiration to us.
“To have their support and share a stage with them in any way is a real career highlight for us. And we cannot wait to watch their show!”
On Saturday night, they appeared in the shadow under a taped monologue which detailed the past year’s struggles.
The trio opened with the title track from their third album, Californian Soil.
Often compared to Florence and the Machine star Florence Welch – Hannah is simply a superstar in her own right as her voice immediately captivated the room.
The trio have reinvented their electro indie sound to a create a more immersive gig experience for their fans.
Frontwoman Hannah previously said: “The lyrics are quite dark, but I wanted to show the song in an upbeat way.”
She also described the album as the “most upbeat London Grammar has ever been.”
Supporting Coldplay is a dream come true!
After 18 months of lockdown, the group explained that Californian Soil “really expresses this feeling of loneliness” and the lyrics “being lost in chaos and coming out on the other side” shows the resilience of the band.
London Grammar’s presence had the crowd instantly hypnotised as Hannah belted out the powerful lyrics in front of a red backdrop and widescreen cinematic soundscapes.
To compensate for the absence of live gigs, the group ensured that they pulled out all the stops to impress.
Hannah’s gentle sound yet strong symphonic power left the crowds in awe – Lord It’s a Feeling certainly doesn’t mince its words.
She sang the tracks with every emotion under the sun, from sorrow to passion, the lyrics “I saw the way you laughed behind her back when you f****d somebody else” had the room chanting along.
The tracks draw on moments of despair, heartbreak, poverty among other experiences.
Returning to some of their best-loved classics, Hannah shared an intimate moment as she perched on the end of the stage and gave a magical performance of 2017’s hit Big Picture.
They also revisited Hell to the Liars and Hey Now, as Hannah’s soulful voice echoed through the gigantic hall.
The band’s enthusiasm and all-consuming love for their music filled the room with electricity all evening.
As the night came to an end, Bones of Ribbon left the crowd roaring with excitement as lasers and full-on techno transformed the hall, while the fans took over the signing for a shiver-inducing rendition of Strong.
The epic performance closed with Lose Your Head, which is according to Hannah is “about power and control in relationships”, ending the evening with a haunting performance and and then a full-on rave.
With Californian Soil marking the band’s second No1 album, the trio rediscovered their voice with smooth tracks including Missing.
The Nottingham-formed trio have clearly poured their emotions into this album – throughout the evening they thanked their fans for their continued support and was overwhelmed with the streams of people in the 10,400 capacity hall.
One fan described the experience as “breathtaking” and a “truly unforgettable night”.
Another told us that the performance was: “Simply magical, Hannah’s voice is the epitome of class.”
Another echoed that London Grammar were simply “spellbinding and magical” and their long-awaited third album was “worth the wait”.
The three-piece consists of vocalist and writer Hannah Reid, guitarist Dan Rothman and keyboard/multi instrumentalist Dominic ‘Dot’ Major.
Reid and Rothman met at the University of Nottingham and formed London Grammar in 2009 they
They were later joined by Northampton native Major a year later, and the trio moved to the capital after they had finished their studies in 2010 to pursue a career in music.
Their latest album comes after reports that vocalist Hannah was fed up with the toxic misogyny of the music industry.
Her music reflects her battle with the music industry while remaining in love with music itself.
“I felt like I’ve just got nothing to lose now,” says Reid.
“You know, I may as well just be really brave. And I think lyrically I was able to make myself more vulnerable and take a few risks.”
The group remained true to their trip-hop tracks, while also creating songs that were bigger, better and bolder.
After nearly four years since their second album, Californian Soil offers 12 polished tracks, which will certainly earn them a new generation of fans.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun Showbiz team?