Little Dragon delivers the f-y-a-h, and more.
Rounding off my weekend by strolling down the steps of what has now become one of my favourite venues in Manchester, it was not sunday sounds, chilled out tempos or leisurely lullabies that were to be delivered, and why the hell should it be? Call it what you will (and they do - trip hop, downtempo, sythnpop, indietronica, dream pop, neo soul), Little Dragon's is the type of music that makes you want to move your feet.
It is so well crafted it seems simple and easy. The blend of electro-noise and sheer natural talent work with each other to create something that inclines you to label it easy listening, but they have put their finger on something that has so much more depth and interest than the contents of that genre.
As soon as Yukimi Nagano and fellow band mates took to the stage, the Ruby Lounge was transformed in to a mini rave-dom complete with green strobe lasers, and a sea of energetic audience members ready to bust - a - groove.
(Incidentally, the era most reminiscent of such a scene was the last time that it was ok to use that phrase without a massive dollop of irony…I was totally being ironic).
And what a voice. The dreamy, poppy, and at times straight vocals that sing out of my well listened-to Ritual Union CD were a far cry from her live delivery; either reverbed within an inch of their life, or so crisp and clear that you really got to appreciate not only the talent of Nagano on lead vocals but each band member too.
The name Little Dragon is said to derive from Swedish-Japanese Yukimi Nagano's fiery nature, and although no sign of a temper was evident, she definitely breathed her blazing aura all over the audience. There were tender moments to the set played out through numbers such as Twice, and anthems that got the whole place moving such as should-be-compulsory-listening Brush the Heat. The variety and strength of each song in the set meant that the audience were left loving every minute of it, from aged ex-podium dancers shaking their stuff*, to smoochy couples taking time out from the xmas markets* the mood was unanimous- Little Dragon delivered pretty much everything you could want from a gig.
*just inferring, like.