A very full tent. Clearly I’m not the only one interested in these two! It’s hard to say why some bands command such great PR. I first heard these two teenagers on Marc Riley’s 6Music show a couple of months ago, but let’s face it – with a name like that they’re going to be remembered! I reckon they won’t be playing many more gigs this size for a while.
They come on stage humbly enough, and promptly drop their heads like puppets with simultaneously cut strings. Ok.
An ugly man appears in front of my carefully chosen spot and puts his daughter on his shoulders. Thanks Ugly. Thugly.
They start with debut single Deep Six Textbook, which I’m familiar with from Teh Nets, but even though I’m pretty sure I’ve heard all these tracks before, I quickly feel like I’m swimming in them – or they’re swimming in me, and I’m more than happy to lose myself in the music.
Live xylophone, glowering synths, and a melancholy air give way to sudden, infectious beats and rapping. They use a mandolin, a penny whistle, as well as guitar, keyboard and live drums. That’s some pretty impressive work.
They seem almost obsessed with the infantile, invoking wicked witches and Rapunzel in their absurdly high voices, while casually pulling out a recorder. But these fairy-tale references never come without the traditional underlying menace and threat.
Like if Kate Bush and Bjork had twins, but better, and with the hard, unsettling edge of Tricky.
Sometimes they’re on the floor. Quite often actually. Maybe there’s a reason for this, maybe not. There is certainly madness of some kind here. But you couldn’t possibly do anything this brilliant without that.
What I love about reviewing live music is that true talent always shows. There are moments when I feel the unmistakable presence of greatness. This is one of them. Jaded, old and bitter as I am, I’m always hopeful that someone will surprise me, and while I could accept and understand why some people might find this contrived and awkward, I am absolutely filled with joy to hear something so new and vital.
Let’s Eat Grandma don’t sound like anyone else. They sound like themselves. And that is far, far too rare.
More of the strange, doll-like dancing. I’m beginning to suspect that these two fiercely unusual, effortlessly innovative multi-instrumentalists might be trying to trick us into thinking that they’re merely harmless, silly, pretty girls, while quietly defining the sound of 2016.
5 stars. And the rest.
A version of this review first appeared at fringereview.co.uk