Live Review

Grouplove + Dylan LeBlanc, Barfly, London

Grouplove blow the crowd away with their innocent joy and sense of wonder.

Don’t get me wrong, I love both Grouplove and Dylan LeBlanc, but the infectious 90’s nostalgic pop band and the country and Americana wunderkind on the same bill is one of the most confusing selections I’ve seen. They’re not even on the same label. However, it somehow works startlingly well.

After a worrying start (at 8:15, quarter of an hour before Dylan LeBlanc’s set, there are at most 20 people in the room), the venue packs out and by the time LeBlanc is on he’s playing to near full capacity. LeBlanc’s set is anything but the country twanging he produces on record; it’s a full band affair, flitting from sounding like Ryan Adams to Lambchop in minutes, but without ever losing its original charm and soul.

After his stunning set comes Grouplove. Their infectious enthusiasm and upbeat, cheerful sound hits a chord right from the off and they soon captivate every person in the room. Racing through hits off their recent EP, as well as some from their upcoming debut full length, they blow the crowd away with their innocent joy and sense of wonder and fun.

Highlights of the set are ‘Naked Kids’, which has its honest and simple beach mantra enhanced by a mini inflatable palm tree being batted across the crowd, and their wondrous and euphoric encore of ‘Colours’ - the perfect end to a wonderful set. An emphatically joyous sound of summer has landed and it goes by the name of Grouplove.

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