Live Review | Lets Eat Grandma @ O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Lets Eat Grandma amaze supporting CHVRCHES

Opening for CHVRCHES – as the only support act – on their mammoth Europe and UK tours is no easy feat, but experimental pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma take it all in their stride. They take to the stage, taking their places behind synthesisers. Despite there being just two of them, and neither yet old enough to order a pint in the US, Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton have the sort of stage presence artists twice their age would sell their souls for.

The Performance

Like their latest album I’m All Ears, the set begins with the instrumental ‘Whitewater’, leading into ‘Hot Pink’. It more than pacifies the audience, veering from the saccharine to intense squelchy basslines in the blink of an eye. It’s fast becoming one of the band’s signature songs, and with good reason.

Although they’ve matured since debut I, Gemini, sprinkles of childhood naïveté remain. Throughout their set, Hollingworth and Walton intermittently leave their places to perform the Macarena in freakishly synchronised fashion, to lie on the floor of the stage, and to play a clapping game. There’s a certain simplicity to it all – two childhood friends making music, and performing it, together.

A few songs in, it starts to feel like a promo for I’m All Ears. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, mind you – there’s just a notable absence of their earlier material. ‘Eat Shiitake Mushrooms’ is the sole representative of I, Gemini in this I’m All Ears dominated set. If they’re only selecting one from the album it may just be the best one to pick. The extensive intro proves to be more transfixing live than on record, while Walton’s sprechgesang gains rapturous admiration from the crowd, as she never once misses a beat.

As they announce that there’s only one song to go, there’s a few shouts from the crowd of “’Donnie Darko’!” from those who had evidently done their setlist homework, as ‘Donnie Darko’ duly begins. The sprawling album closer is also a fitting finale to the live set. It’s not only a great warm-up for CHVRCHES – it’s a fantastic set in its own right.

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