This is Local Natives first live show outside of the United States ever and they are undeniably excited about it. “Hey everybody we’re called Local Natives and we’re very happy to be in London,” they announce at the start. Even more than this the band appear to be genuinely stunned that so many people have turned out to see them when they are so far from their home of Los Angeles.
It’s easy to see why people have turned up. Local Natives blend of folk beat consists of surging Arcade Fire meets Fleet Fox style harmonies that demonstrate significant power. They perform a rhythmically charged and organically groovy cover of Talking Heads Warning Sign, which sounds better than the original. Then there is the vibing moodiness of debut UK single Sun Hands which they tear apart with rocking guitars and percussive heaviness at the end– it’s quite staggering. It’s no wonder that one of the bands double drummers cymbals has a piece chipped off it - it takes a hell of a bashing during their crashing tribal sonic intercourse. Best of all is the instantly likeable Airplanes, a song filled with catchy melodies and percussive hooks that could easily lead one into a spot of air drumming.
Local Natives produce melodic turbulence, the songs rising, falling and changing in tempo in a manner that feels free and natural despite the obvious control and musical dexterity the group have. Vigour and musical passion are the order of the day here, the band visibly straining, their heads thrown back, their brows perspiring as they join together to produce mammoth “Whoa oh oh” choruses. It's no surprise that even for a cool London audience, the band get a very good reaction.
Earlier this year Local Natives created quite a buzz at the South by South West Festival. Expect that buzz to continue. One of the best bands from Stateside this year.