Let’s Eat Grandma


Tonight is an odd night. I’ve just played football, and after a heavy fall in which I landed fully on my left wrist, I have quite the shooting pain in my arm. Thinking it’s just sprained, I play on for the final 45 mins, including a stint in goal, and then I cycle to the Deaf Institute to catch Let’s Eat Grandma, hoping that the two starlets will take my mind off the now dull ache throbbing through my wrist. Taking a seat at the back of the room (I didn’t want to risk knocking my poorly arm), I gingerly rest the wrist in my lap and settle down to be mesmerised by childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth. Little did I know that they would actually blow me away.

You see, LEG (the acronym that adorns their bass drum) made a debut album of off kilter folk-pop in 2016, which was interesting but hardly what you would call mainstream, or even ‘pop’ to be honest. They played sets with their hair over their faces, seemingly uncomfortable with fronting up to a crowd, hiding in their ‘weird friends since forever’ vibe, not letting anyone into their world. Then early this year they came back with an absolutely bonkers banger ‘Hot Pink’, produced by PC Music’s SOPHIE, and it was extraordinary. Gone was the coy oddness, in its place was what sounded like 8 songs mashed together (in the best possible way), and a new found confidence from the duo. It’s one of the most unexpected about turns I’ve heard, and it suits them incredibly well, as tonight’s extraordinary performance proves.

That very song opens the set, and it’s as great live as it is on record. Initially the pair come on stage with their live drummer and stand stock still behind their synths, deadpan looks across their faces, until someone from the crowd shouts “I’m so excited” and they both break into broad smiles before launching into ‘Hot Pink’s mayhem. For the next 45 mins they play only new songs, largely unknown to the crowd, with each one getting a reception like it’s an old favourite. Current single ‘Falling Into Me’ is an effortless, Lorde-esque pop masterpiece, Jenny picking up a saxophone to belt out a perfect 80s instrumental blast midway through. ‘It’s Not Just Me’ features Rosa throwing some proper shapes, stepping out from behind her synth to dance like no one’s watching whilst Jenny holds court on the chords. A song I think is called ‘I Will Be Waiting’ is a perfect sad pop ballad, sung beautifully by the two between them, Rosa picking up a guitar to accompany Jenny’s sweet vocals, it’s beautiful.

What follows are two songs so brilliant I couldn’t do them justice if I tried. One is a perfect, perfect synth lead downer, almost moving me to tears despite never having heard it before, it’s wonderful. Jenny and Rosa sing different parts perfectly in sync throughout and it sends shivers through me. Nothing can prepare me for the final tune, some kind of 8-10 min suite that incorporates an elaborate handclap game, a crowd rave up lead by Jenny as she wades into the audience, house piano stabs, a recorder, lying down on stage, and much, much more. It’s completely, ridiculously, brilliantly amazing and unlike much I’ve ever heard before, perfect, fucked up wonk-pop that leaves the crowd breathless. They depart, no encore, no old songs, no airs and graces, a brave, bold move that just leaves me desperate for more.

On the basis of this extraordinary performance, I cannot wait to hear their new album, I’m All Ears, out at the end of June, it sounds like it’ll be a next-level, Melodrama-type masterpiece. They even made me forget my wrist pain, which on the following morning’s trip to A&E, turns out to be broken and is now in plaster (that, readers, is how dedicated I am in bringing you this review…). Until then, I’ll try and recreate that last song in my head and remember how sublime it was, and revel in the unexpectedly brilliant new dawn of this outrageously talented young duo.

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