Little Dragon need more firepower

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Little Dragon

Corn Exchange

Church Street

Brighton

November 17

Yukimi Nagano, the frontwoman for Swedish electronic outfit Little Dragon, may be diminutive but she possesses the stage presence to dominate a venue ten times the size of the Corn Exchange. Dressed as a goddess of spring flowers she prowled, skipped, struck arabesque and neo-classical poses and had the enthusiastic audience under her full control from the start. Her vocal range is limited, but her charisma is like a tidal river sweeping all in its path.

The same cannot be said for her fellow band members. Fredrik Källgren Wallin (keyboards and bass), Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards) and Erik Bodin (drums) exuded the collective personality of a beer mat and their musicianship on this occasion verged on the sloppy. On the bands recordings, first-rate production polishes some very average songs. Live, they were reduced to reverb-drenched longueurs.

This is not to say the night was a total disappointment. ‘Klapp Klapp’, ‘Ritual Union’ and ‘Nabuma Rubberband’ are sturdy constructions and were able to withstand the rough treatment they received.

On this showing I predict a starry future for Nagano and perhaps back room careers for the boys.

This article was first published in The Argus on November 18

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