A celebration of skill, sound and teamwork
Lucy Harbron
11:33 20th October 2022

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No one quite does a gig like Let’s Eat Grandma. Even when dogged by technical issues and false starts, the Norwich duo put on a show that is as fascinating as it is fan. Playing about 8 instruments between the two of them, swapping hands on a keyboard to keep a chord going and bouncing about KOKO’s stage - it’s a a feat to pull off.

But their dedication to skill and sound is clear from before they even step on stage. Supported by Fake Laugh who was joined by a full band as a one off one the tour, his sound was so tight we were all transported back to the golden year of 2016. Delivering indie tunes packed with joy and a slickness that’s painfully rare in a band set up, every tambourine hit or shaker rattle was perfectly placed and executed with a little dance. As the kind of support that genuinely has the room hooked from moment one, no one was surprised when Fake Laugh came back out as Let’s Eat Grandma’s guitar, bass and synth player. Already proving his musical prowess, he thanked the band and gushed about getting to play with a such a talented group. With LEG also being joined by Elena Costa on drums, the duo’s skill is only elevated by session musicians that more than match their ability and energy.

And nothing could affect the energy. Even after a long, awkward wait in silence and then three false starts – when we finally reached the first line of ‘Happy New Year’, the teasing only made the pay-off even better. As Rosa bounces round the stage in a clowncore velvet jumpsuit, every move is matched by a surprising sea of 6Music dads. Despite being a strangely male dominated crowd with an average age of close to double that of the girls, KOKO’s standing area for a sea of movement.

It's impossible to not get involved. Laughing at each other on stage and doing their signature mini dance routines, the show has the energy of two kids performing for the family at Christmas. Including recorders, handshakes and an extended macarena – Rose and Jenny have so much fun up there and the sound doesn’t suffer for a second. Putting on a show that is fascinatingly intricate, it’s perfected down to the finger movement. As Rose picks up a guitar, Elena steps out from behind the drums to come and keep the synth chord going. Or Jenny and Rose are taking it in turns, moving between their keyboards and taking to the centre of the stage with a mic. Even when lying on the floor, a sample pad isn’t far away as a whole new beat comes in with just a tap. The teamwork is incredible to the point, making it a gig that would be captivating to watch even if the songs were far less catchy than they are.

But, boy, are they catchy. Catchy, energetic and regularly emotionally stunning. As Jenny steps to the centre of the stage and Rose retires to her guitar in the corner, ‘Watching You Go’ is a beautiful moment. Jenny’s live vocals are just as powerful in person as they are in recording, cutting through the venue with every note echoing up to the balconies. Coming down into the crowd for the final moments, it’s a song that could move you to tears if you weren’t too busy singing along. The same can be said for ‘Two Ribbons’ as the title tracked offered a softer moment, refocussing on their incredible lyricism for a gentle interlude taking grief, loss and connectivity.

Whether they’re offering something slower, or dancing into heavy musical breakdowns or beats that make you want to jump up and down – Let’s Eat Grandma put on a show like no one else. Finishing with the 11 minute long extravaganza ‘Donnie Darko’ that sees them crawling around the stage, running from instrument to instrument and dancing in the pit, their skill remains still way, way beyond their years. Now on their 3rd album and working as seasoned live musicians, they’re still only going up, only getting better. Delivering one of the best albums of 2022, their live shows are a celebration of skill, showmanship and, more than anything, love, as the two friends hug and walk off together.

See the view from the pit, captured by Fabiola Bonnot:

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Photo: Fabiola Bonnot