Live Review: Let’s Eat Grandma @ Moroccan Lounge, September 4, 2018
From the grammatical joke in their name, it’s clear Let’s Eat Grandma, the intriguing up and coming English experimental pop duo, are into wordplay and have a mischievous sense of humor. (Titles include “Sax in the City,” “Chimpanzees in Canopies,” and “Eat Shiitake Mushrooms” [pronounce the 2nd word as two words]. But it’s not all jokes. There’s a headiness to the music of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, well beyond their youthful years. Immaculate production, tasteful electronic sounds, and a certain seriousness of arrangement and will to experiment offset any jokes and keep the listener a bit off balance and constantly interested.
Now add to that an engaging live show. The LA date, in support of their excellent new sophomore LP, I’m All Ears, sold out the Moroccan Lounge. It’s a brief set, just nine well-rehearsed songs, but more than enough to convey the uncommon range of their sound and charm as stage performers. From a sparse ballad in “Ava” featuring piano by Walton and sung by Hollingworth, to the two new anthemic stompers from their collaboration with Sophie “Hot Pink” and “It’s Not Just Me” which open the show, to an eleven-minute epic “Donnie Darko” which has them jamming guitar and synth noise over a Underworld like keyboard bassline for the set climax. It’s hard to imagine the acts to which they are a bit clumsily compared to (Lorde, The xx) covering the wide range of styles on one record as they do on I’m All Ears.
On stage they’re knowingly goofy, dropping in some playground handclap games, randomly sitting on the stage or Jenny taking a quick run into the audience. But they get away with it because they’re so talented. Besides trading off sweet honeyed lead vocals or singing in unison, they naturally pick up a guitar (Rosa) or saxophone or recorder (Jenny) to play along with their tracks. All in all, it’s a fantastic gig and leaves one with a sense this was an intimate preview of the bigger things (and venues) to come.