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AlunaGeorge - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London - October 24 2013 (Live Review)

Monday, 28 October 2013 Written by Tom Seymour

George Reid glides onstage, a faint, unmoving smile on his face, his Mac-pop cool in full check. He’s followed by Aluna Francis, pretending to ride a pony. She canters to the centre of the stage, dramatically climbs off her imaginary steed, and slaps it on the arse.

From the first moment, the Shepherd's Bush Empire is made witness to the very contrasting double act that is AlunaGeorge, the most hyped pop act London has on offer right now. They open with Just A Touch, a tune nakedly about Francis’ unresolved feelings towards a relationship: “You think I'm cold as ice, I'm just not easy to burn,” she sings. “But don't turn me into someone who'll break down and cry.”

It begins quietly, unassumingly, with Reid’s cross-pollinated electro-pop production, glitch/garage/dubstep hooks and homages to MTV Base taking a backseat to Francis’ shifting, rhythmic melodies. But then it climbs into a chorus-line that hits you like a wave; this is AlunaGeorge live and raucous.

“We’ve been around a bit recently, but it’s so good to be back in London,” Francis then announces. She’s downplaying the year they’ve had - a worldwide tour of some of the most prestigious festivals on the circuit, a debut album heralded as the best of the year by some, a number two single with Disclosure, not to mention untold press and social buzz.

The duo first met in 2009. Reid was living with his parents in Molesey, south west London, remixing in his bedroom. Francis, who had recently moved to the smoke from St Albans and was working as a receptionist and on shop floors, popped into his life when he was tasked with remixing a track by her first group, My Toys Like Me. They ended up joining forces, first surfacing in 2011 with the single Analyser.

The begin soulfully, coyly, with the live bassist and drummer kept in check by the more melody-driven Kaleidoscope Touch, Best Be Believing and Outlines. Francis then joins Reid on his mixing desk for a mash up of sounds that drops, with unbridled glee, into their version of Montell Jordan’s This Is How We Do It. Shepherd’s Bush goes bananas.

Francis is a restlessly playful presence on stage, her voice sweet, almost childlike, underscored by an estuary twang and a don’t-mess-with-me sass. She performs every song, her snake hips swinging, infectiously acting the lyrics out to her audience. She’s confident in these tunes and she has a right to be; for a band with one album and one year of exposure, it’s remarkable how many hits they have behind them. They go from Superstar - a pop anthem underlined by a killer bass and drum combo - to their big hit Attracting Flies, and then finish with Francis pogoing around the stage to the deliriously catchy Lost & Found.

They return for a three-tune encore, the unabashedly sexy We Are Chosen first, with Francis crooning: “Bring a little revolution here, show me love and take away my fear.” Then it’s a souped-up version of White Noise, a song heard in every club across the country this year and one displayed here in the form of a drum and bass/grunge remix.

They play out with Your Drums, Your Love, Francis ending their unrivalled hit with her tongue out, Miley Cyrus-style, and devil-horns pointing at her band. It’s a joy-filled gig from a young band who can’t quite believe their luck and still have a lot of growing to do. For now, they’re still ours, but not for long it seems.

Alunageorge UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Tue October 29th 2013 - SHEFFIELD Sheffield Plug
Wed October 30th 2013 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City

Click Here to Compare & Buy Alunageorge Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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