Swedish group, Little Dragon, played their biggest London gig on 4th December with 2000 people singing every lyric to 3 albums worth of material. How’d this rise happen? And how did we get to know this amazing band?
I came to know Little Dragon through a compilation that featured Jamie Woon‘s Wayfaring Stranger and Midlake‘s amazing Rosco along with eight other musical gems. Little Dragon‘s infamous song Twice was perfectly placed four songs in and was a stand out track on this beautiful compilation by the Sonar Kollectiv‘s called Secret Love 4.
Twice immediately gripped me as well as majority of the OneTaste crew at the time. We found Little Dragon‘s album and that was it; hooked for life. Magic and cool wrapped up in a zip file. This was back in mid 2008. A few months later OneTaste got the opportunity to host Little Dragon‘s first London showcase at the Jazz Cafe. It was a mini dream come true amongst our friends. Jamie Woon, Stac and Polarbear were also on the bill for this gig and all played to a sold out audience. Since then they’ve played Hyde Park and The Garage with us and as we have watched their fan base and career grow and take them around the world. We realised that we had had the privilege of being a small part of the growth of one of the freshest and most original bands to come out of the ‘noughties’.
After their break with The Gorillaz world tour and getting Twice on US TV hit show Grey’s Anatomy, they have now officially started making international waves.
Proof for me was Sunday night. I went down to the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (SBE), and again, it was sold out. Having not seen them play in a year, I was shocked by the difference that time can make. I guess that is what happens when you spend nearly everyday working and touring relentlessly, devoted to your craft. Little Dragon are one of the hardest working bands that I have met
and it shows. So last Sunday, Yukimi, Erik, Fred, Hakan and a
5th additional mystery member, performed the most amazing show that I’ve seen.
What impresses me most every time, is their ability to tap into some kind of collective consciousness with their rhythms. They were already tight, but this gig at SBE showed me how a band can go from ridiculously tight to masterful. Each member has some kind of percussive role within the music and that rhythmical collaboration makes for a peak experience for the listener. You find yourself flowing in and out of different head nodding, hand waving and hip shaking patterns, carving a language of your own that matches everyone elses but looks completely different. No joke, every person I looked at in the audience had some kind of different movement going on, completely individual to them.
Little Dragon‘s live shows are special to me because somehow they seem to attune people to themselves and to each other. That, in my opinion, is the core mission of music, and this band weave magic in a way that is as much mysterious as it is masterful. I could swear they have been taking some lessons from Tool on sacred geometric drum patterns.
I am transported with every listen… I don’t even know where I go, but it is somewhere between this realm and a realm of space, beats, light, lasers and dragons… with magic binding every note.