Little Dragon Live & Sublime in Sydney

On their 3rd visit to Australia, I was blessed this week to finally get the live Little Dragon experience I’d been waiting so long for.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory

Only Sydney and Melbourne got shows on this tour.  Consistent with the band’s other sold-out shows this year on their seemingly-non-stop tour schedule in the U.K, U.S.A, Japan and Europe since releasing Nabuma Rubberband, both their Sydney and Melbourne gigs sold out too. For very good reason…the live Little Dragon show is one that’s sublime, and not to be missed.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

The fact that the members of this 4-piece Swedish group have been playing and performing together since 1996 is plain to hear live. The cohesiveness of the combined sound contributions of Little Dragon’s four members is water-tight, and no 1 member’s sound drew my focus away from the others.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Visually on the other hand, vocalist Yukimi Nagano makes it hard to keep your eyes off of her with her mesmerising movements across the stage with a tambourine – those movements and sounds themselves being an integral part of the whole that is the sublime live Little Dragon experience.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

And Yukimi Nagano’s voice, with it’s live humanly “imperfections”, for those live “imperfections”, sounded simply perfect.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

The other 3 parts of Little Dragon are Fredrik Wallin (bass), Håkan Wirenstrand (keys) and Erik Bodin (drums).  Their musicianship was a dream to hear, see and appreciate in a live environment, especially the extended versions and jams during some of the songs.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Fredrik Wallin

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Håkan Wirenstrand

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Håkan Wirenstrand (left); Erik Bodin (right)

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Erik Bodin

Little Dragon whole – the parts of the four artists combined  – was a better experience for me live than on cd…and isn’t that exactly what we want from all of our live music experiences?

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Sydney’s set list was made up of these 16 songs from Little Dragon’s 4 albums – including one of their 1st songs ‘Test’ (on video below)

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Killing Me + Underbart + Pretty Girls + Paris + Klapp Klapp + Only One + Nabuma Rubberband

Little Dragon - Ritual Union (2011) - album cover

Ritual Union + Please Turn + Crystal Film + Summer Tears + Shuffle a Dream

x

Machine Drums - Little Dragon (2009)

My Step + Runabout

Little Dragon. Self titled album cover. 2007.

Twice + Test

x

Given the many years Little Dragon have been around for, it was interesting to see that a lot of their Sydney crowd seemed younger than I would’ve guessed they’d be; and to hold the newer songs played from Nabuma Rubberband dearer to them than older Little Dragon tracks. I guess that’s a testament to the group’s success in constantly making relevant new music that appeals to both old and new fan bases.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

The only other thing I can tell you about the gig is the unexpected feel-good moment that came near the end of Little Dragon’s show when one of those young women in the crowd joined the band on stage and proposed to her girlfriend.  A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer I don’t know, but they looked happy.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

x

The only consolation I can offer to peeps who missed out on tickets to Little Dragon’s Melbourne and Sydney shows this time around, is these videos from Tuesday night at Oxford Art Factory


 

Elsewhere in Beaver Land you can check out sample tracks from Little Dragon’s Ritual Union and Nabuma Rubberband albums.

Right here is one more sample from Nabuma Rubberband. The usual ‘mp3 only warning applies – hard copies of Little Dragon’s music is easy to find and buy on-line or on foot in your local, independent record store…

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

‘Underbart’ – Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

x

Lots of people missed out on tickets to Little Dragon’s Sydney and Melbourne shows. These artists could easily have filled bigger venues than Oxford Art Factory and the Corner Hotel. Fans in other Australian cities wanted a Little Dragon show too.  The band’s tour schedule in the U.K, U.S.A and Europe for the rest of 2014 means Australia’s unlikely to get shows again this year. But I’m sure we’ll see Little Dragon over this side of the world again soonish rather than later.

Little Dragon live @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney - August 2014

Email this to someoneShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband

Little Dragon has just released another one of their synth-pop gems. The group’s highly anticipated 4th album Nabuma Rubberband is finally here to buy and have in your music collection forever after.

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Nabuma Rubberband’s first track ‘Mirror’ sets the album’s dark tones with it’s slow, ominous beat and these opening lyrics sung by Yukimi Nagano:

“You know you’re making me mad. The way you look at me so. Kind of making me scared”.

Listen to the song ‘Mirror’ below.

Little Dragon’s last album Ritual Union was quirkier sounding, lighter, happier and busier than this one. Nakuma Rubberband has a pretty consistent eery mood with more spacious and (mostly) slower tracks. It’s sounds are inspired in part by the music of Prince and Janet Jackson, with a desire to make you feel like you’re floating.

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Little Dragon

Listen to sample tracks from Ritual Union here.

Then check out these 2 tracks from Nabuma Rubberband to see if they make you feel like you’re floating.

The usual mp3 warning applies. I wonder why anyone would buy this album in compressed mp3 format when you can get the complete sounds on CD from your local independent record store for about $18 only?

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

‘Mirror’ – Nabuma Rubberband (2014) – Little Dragon

‘Pretty Girls’  – Nabuma Rubberband (2014) – Little Dragon

Every other track on Nakuma Rubberband has different subtle flavours in its mix – jazz or pop or techno or r&b or the 80’s. Some songs are super slow and spacey, and others have the sounds of urgency. The slow, deep, pounding bass is nearly always there to grab you.

Little Dragon have announced a stream of 2014 tour dates through the U.K, USA and Europe so catch them live where you can. I think the live Little Dragon experience would be better and at least equally as great as the studio-recorded Little Dragon experience.

Anyone seen a live Little Dragon gig to tell us?  

Email this to someoneShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Little Dragon To Strike Again

After Roxette, Little Dragon are only the second Swedish band I’ve heard in my life.

Oblivious

Up until yesterday I didn’t even know Little Dragon were from Sweden. Some friends recommended their quirky electro-soul-synth-pop music to me a few years back. I’ve been loving it since, oblivious to the group’s origin and anything else about them except for the sound of their innovative music.

Little Dragon

My ears only just pricked up and payed another sort of attention to Little Dragon, at hearing they’d announced a release date for their 4th studio album Nabuma Rubberband.

Not only do I now know the group’s origins, I also know the names of the artists whose musicianship and musicality I already appreciate and admire: Yukimi Nagano (vocals & percussion); Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bass); Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards); and Erik Bodin (drums).

Little Dragon’s Past

In between Little Dragon’s 1996 beginnings and Nabuma Rubberband, the group has released 3 studio albums and some singles.

Little Dragon has also played a huge number of live shows around the world.

Little Dragon

Both live and on record, their music is internationally recognised and acclaimed as being special.  Justifiably so.

Glimpses of the Dragon

To tantalize us so far, Little Dragon have given us an image of the Nabuma Rubberband album cover plus a film clip of the first single ‘Klapp Klapp’ to watch on the band’s website.

Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Nabuma Rubberband (2014)

Until then anyone oblivious to Little Dragon’s music can check out an mp3 only glimpse of their past here with 2 sample tracks from their last album Ritual Union. Don’t be scared. They sound nothing at all like Roxette, and everything like the innovative, original sounding group they are.

Little Dragon - Ritual Union

Ritual Union – Ritual Union (2011) 

Crystalfilm – Ritual Union (2011)

Little Dragon bring us Nabuma Rubberband on May 13th. For this new release and others coming from beloved artists in the collection, the next few months in the musical world are looking pretty damn fine.

Email this to someoneShare on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter