Let’s Eat Grandma review – frighteningly inventive duo rip up girl-group cliches

Electrowerkz, London
Best friends Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton amp up the weird factor with their synth-laden glimpses into the darker sides of teenage life

From their ominous name to the impudent, blank expressions they wear, Let’s Eat Grandma don’t just eschew girl-group stereotypes – they rip them to shreds with fiendish delight.

Formed by friends Jenny Hollingworth, 17, and Rosa Walton, 16, LEG provide a dazzling, befuddling glimpse into teenage life as expressed through dark-edged fantasies and experimental pop. The duo, who share an uncanny physical and saccharine-sweet vocal similarity, amp up the weird factor with spooky synths and eerie recorders.

Shrouded in black, barricaded on stage by a bank of keyboards and hidden behind curtains of long wavy hair, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. Facing one another for the vigorous hand-clapping intro of Deep Six Textbook, they resemble baby-faced versions of pre-Raphaelite heroine Elizabeth Siddal. But, as they bend forward, then slowly rise up to face the crowd, there’s something of The Shining’s scary Grady twins about the pair.

Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton of Let’s Eat Grandma performs at Electrowerkz
Let’s Eat Grandma Perform At Electrowerkz. Photograph: Venla Shalin/Getty Images

The thing most frightening about their music, however, is its sheer inventiveness. The frustration of schoolwork is vented against hymn-like, humming synths and a soulful saxophone, the story of Rapunzel is sung by Walton with vengeful sweetness, while Hollingworth plays an accusatory rhythm on drums with lashings of cymbal.

Both girls move between their instruments – which include lead guitar and glockenspiel – with practised ease and, having formed the band in 2013, the songs are played with tight abandon. It’s when LEG set their innocent fairytales to hedonistic club beats on Eat Shiitake Mushrooms and the stunning Donnie Darko that they create something not just bewitching, but mould-breaking.

  • Let’s Eat Grandma play Field Day festival, London, on 11 June 2016.


Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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