Buzzy British duo AlunaGeorge blasted into The Independent, proceeding to get the house bouncin’ while announcing their presence with authority. Singer and sultry frontwoman Aluna Francis referred to the clubbier-than-normal crowd as “very sexy” before launching into “You Know You Like It”. But it was Francis’ confident dance moves and spot-on vocals, combined with George Reid’s live production work, that proved sexiest.
Based on AlunaGeorge’s current tour schedule, the she-him collaboration of Francis and Reid (hence, the group’s name) are an international phenomenon in the making. How often does a group this new, who just released their first record, embark on such a long, worldwide tour? They are ready for the big spotlight — their tight, quick set packed a heavy punch, one that kept building in excitement.
Francis and Reid have expanded to a foursome on the road by adding live drums and bass, and this live instrumentation makes the beats sound more immediate, drawing you into the dreamy, sensual soundscape.
AlunaGeorge’s show feels like a DJ performance. Sonically, the brain is processing clean sound that mashes principles of UK garage, 90’s R&B and hip-hop, but it’s all so infectiously poppy thanks to Francis’ easy-to-digest hooks, smart lyric inflection and a vocal tone that gets more addictive with each listen.
Reid creates the production elements live on MIDI pads and keys, building his studio vision on the fly — it’s the furthest thing from button-pushing EDM laziness. Low-bass vocal effect samples are utilized as hooks (like in “Your Drums, Your Love”), and these moments help to make the performance hypnotic. Every note curated by Reid is slick and seductive, and when someone as striking as Francis is the one attracting all eyes in sight, it all works perfectly.
Highlights from Wednesday’s show included a slowed-down translation of Disclosure’s “White Noise” (which AlunaGeorge collaborated on), and a much more evolved rendition of “Analyser”, the track that put AlunaGeorge on the map early on. They also covered “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan — how appropriate.
It’s as if Aaliyah came back from the dead, hooked up with Flume and put on an amazing live show — so maybe this helps to explain why AlunaGeorge is so popular. Any way you look at it, AlunaGeorge is a live-music experience worth investing in.