LA band Local Natives stopped off at our very own Southampton University last week as part of their October tour. Local Natives are touring all over Europe so it was a real privilege for the university to play host for the night.
First up was Australian band Cloud Control. For those of you unfamiliar with their music, they combine dreamy synths and vocals with gritty basslines and intricate guitar riffs, to create a sound that is effortlessly cool. They seemed genuinely impressed with the reception of their music, particularly when they played their latest single ‘Promises’ which is due for release on 2nd December.
Local Natives took to the stage in a haze of lights and smoke, their music completely filling the intimate setting of Garden Court. Although, I did feel that perhaps the venue wasn’t exactly worthy of Local Natives, as it had a distinctly ‘community hall’ feel to it. They would have been far better suited to a venue like an abandoned church or grand hall.
Most of their set consisted of tracks from their latest album Hummingbird, however they didn’t neglect the tracks that initially earned them a following from their debut album Gorilla Manor. One of their stand out songs was ‘Warning Signs’; they began a cappella, which allowed them all to show off their vocals in their own right. Their talent lies in their ability to enhance one another’s voices, working together to create an awe inspiring sound. This is true of the song writing process too, as it is clear that the writing process is a collective one.
Another stand out moment was perhaps one of their most popular tracks, ‘Heavy Feet’. Kelsey’s soaring vocals were captivating. He managed to reach heights in his voice without breaking a sweat. The beautiful ‘Wide Eyes’ was certainly a crowd favourite, and drummer, Matt Frazier also deserves a mention. His powerful drumming added a new dimension to Local Natives’ tracks. These are definitely a band whose music translates perfectly on to to a live setting. The drumming by Kelsey added extra unexpected layers to their well known tracks.
Despite not selling out, the crowd that were there were definitely real fans of the band. This helped to carry the atmosphere and create the impression that far more people were there. They even managed to coerce the band to coming back and performing a spectacular encore.
Local Natives are clearly passionate musicians. They thanked the fans throughout their set for allowing them to perform and do what they love. Local Natives unfortunately won’t be returning to the UK again this year and for that reason made sure they stayed behind after to the show to greet fans, setting them apart from other bands who would rather get straight back on the road. Overall an enjoyable evening of beautiful music.