Live Review: AlunaGeorge (Nottingham Rock City)
|Photo: Carl Foran Photography|
We’re all hoping that AlunaGeorge’s support acts are half decent. In the shows three and a half hours, only one of them is dedicated to our headliners. As visions of a predictable, introverted guitar band strumming Oasis tunes for half an hour fill me with dread – the two special guests are actually incredible. Far from being time-killers, they prove their worth and lift the mood of the entire evening. Tiny Dancer opens with ‘Who Am I’, a slightly zany Gwen Stefani meets Kate Bush vibe garnishing her performance. Alike Ms. Bush, she is uncontainable and flits around the stage at an exhausting rate without ever missing a note. The material is strong, it needs a polish and the pop sheen suffers from the live band but her closing performance gives way to a heavy disco feel that gets the evening off to a brilliant start.
Mausi follow and, as my blog introducing them states, they deliver the sunshine pop with ease. Anything but shy and retiring, their stage presence echoes their tunes’ unforgettable hooks as they bounce through brilliant chorus after brilliant chorus. ‘Body Language’ opens the set and gives you exactly what Mausi are about – kooky, quirky but immensely accessible synth pop. ‘My Friend Has A Swimming Pool’ and ‘Boy + Girl = Magic’ are yet more shining examples of their slightly eccentric stylings – they just keep popping out future synth anthems with apparent ease. Giving just as much energy and excitement on the live front as on record, it proves just why Mausi are set to be the next big thing and one of the best bands you’ve not yet heard of.
AlunaGeorge might have suffered from a hit-and-miss lengthy opus but tonight it was the perfect bag for them to delve into and bring out only the best material. In their considerably short set (the encore began only half an hour after their entrance) they squeezed in around thirteen of ‘Body Music’s finest moments. ‘You Know You Like It’ is the first one to bring the audience to their head-bopping, air-punching best. The duo never look as cool or effortless as when they both flick buttons on George’s beat-filled monster machine (keyboard seems too cruel an understatement) – switching places and dipping casually in time to the music.
‘This Is How We Do It’ will likely be dropped long before the second album campaign, but it does get sent the crowd into a flurry of waving hands – though, not quite as much as their own material. The distinctive opening beats of ‘Attracting Flies’ sent their young demographic into a frenzy that reached it’s climax in the encore – after a lukewarm ‘We Are Chosen’, the vibrant Disclosure feature ‘White Noise’ and ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ saw Aluna Francis and the audience just as excited as one another, grinning from ear to ear as she stretched her arm out into the adoring audience. The spectators made the show as special as it was – the first few rows of youngsters, desperate for a slice of Aluna or George’s attention, relentlessly squeal the lyrics to every song without fail or error. Alunatics proves to be a fitting name for their fanbase and the unforgettable atmosphere would not have been conjured without their vital presence.
Photo: Carl Foran
Words: Simon McMurdo