Little Dragon live in Sydney


Gothenburg-based electronic outfit Little Dragon recently played at Oxford Art Factory. We were there to check them out: 

A sold-out gig is a total blessing for all involved. The promoters can sit easy for weeks before the event and not have a worry about breaking even, the venue, similarly, can relax with promotional efforts, and the punters are likely to see many a familiar face within the shoulder-to-shoulder, crotch-to-crotch venue on the given night of the performance. Yay! Friends! Gig Friends! A packed room of people keen to see Little Dragon would have been a blessing, had it been on a Friday or Saturday eve, rather than a Tuesday, I think. The people were more reserved and, even during the very well known numbers, most remained stationary, bopping their heads rather than dancing vigorously. I wanted to get a bit sweaty to a pop outfit I really like, ya know?

Despite minimal effort from the crowd, leading lady Yukimi Nagano definitely stole the show. With such beauty (half-Japanese half-Swedish/American – a delightful mix), her note-perfect renditions of the studio productions on all the LPs that I had listened to over and over for the last few years and her electric stage presence was all captivating. The Swedish band have really nailed how to creative a visually interesting show and Yukumi was especially enjoyable to follow around the stage as she stood holding poses with her arms outstretched as the candy-coloured smoke passed by her during the songs.

The band showcased tracks from their seminal new record, Nabuma Rubberband, and album highlight, Paris provoked slightly more energy from punters. What made this year’s release so appealing were the heavier club tracks, the darker more brooding direction in numbers like the bass-heavy Killing Me, or the climactic breakdown in Only One that were both excellent for some knee jerking when sampled live. For nostalgia’s sake, it was nice also to hear classics like swirling Ritual Union and the playful Runabout also, which triggered memories of naive first clubbing experiences in Kings Cross in the early 2010s. 

During the last song, Yukimi invited a nervous woman on stage, who announced her intent to propose to her girlfriend. For something that should have been remarkably sentimental I couldn’t help feeling as though the chick could have put more effort into her delivery, given the situation and hundreds of people watching. It was a ‘lil awkward. Still, the pair shared a slow-dance to the meandering melodies in Twice and then we all left to a rainy Tuesday evening back to our comparably dull weekday lives.



Little Dragon live review and picture by Carol Bowditch