Sebastien Tellier and Little Dragon – Somerset House, 20th July 2014

Sebastien Tellier and Little Dragon – Somerset House, 20th July 2014

Marco Van Rijt Little Dragon

Despite a rainy evening at the alfresco venue, the intelligent, electronic pop that was on offer at Somerset House was enough to get people to lift their heads from under the marquees and indoor sections of London’s notable summer venue, Somerset House, swaying in rhythm to the Swedish synth-pop.

Albeit with discouraging weather, which is so often a factor when it comes to the British summer of festivals (now, how many times have you heard the BBC comment on the mud at Glastonbury?!), Somerset House still manages to come alive with interesting hats, rain coats, clear ponchos, and in my case drenched clothing for a mutual bonding for Yumiko Nagano’s electro-pop set.

As special guest support, Sebastien Tellier came on perhaps too early, attempting to seduce the most eager of the gig-goers, and unfortunately with a sound-system lacking. Whilst Sebastien Tellier was on stage, the French multi-instrumentalist, and trilingual singer, unfortunately most were either hiding under cover at the VIP marquees, and Amex photo booths, making for a poor vibe surrounding his actually rather fabulous and witty performance. There were the obvious beards and shades to be found in the audience, and little in-joke references, and a patient desire for his better known La Ritournelle, which to the detriment of us wet folk did not see Tony Allen on stage. Despite his alluring appeal there is the notion that most felt short-changed by this wet Tellier performance, with a prolonged performance of the one hit that everyone knows.

Little Dragon, however, the group who formed in school days in Gothenberg, dragged and lured the reluctant music-fan from their dry haven and into the drizzle, taking clearly stage moves from Nagano herself. Wearing glittery leggings and face jewels it appears that many in the audience are keen to be influenced by this Swedish songstress, in terms of style. Like this songstress, there is a good positive energy amidst her fans, jiving across the puddled grounds in their styles, which suggest that they are all pretty tuned in to this band’s music.

Nagano’s dominant presence on stage does make you forget that they are a band at times, and the charisma that she possesses is striking, and hinges her with her sister, Sumie Nagano, despite their distinct genre dissimilarities. Euphoric at moments, continuously building the performance with each track, songs such as Pretty Girls, Mirror and Please Turn all please the audience.

However, Klapp Klapp was their most interesting performance with a jazzy intro moulding into its crux of electronic noise. It was also interesting notable that their well-known track Paris was left off the set list for this gig. This might lead one to question whether she was working very much to the venue, reminding us all of the spectacle of this entire gig, the English summer drizzle, the wonderfully French synth sounds of Tellier, the Swedish diva Nagano and significantly, the venue itself, Somerset House.

Let’s hope next year sees a whole host of wonderful gigs taking place at London’s remarkable venue.

Little Dragon image credited to Marco Van Rijt

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