Let's Eat Grandma review – recorders and ponies collide in sinister disco

Stereo, Glasgow
The Norwich duo bring a clubbier feel to their goth-infused pop live, but they still don’t sound like anyone else

The lights turn violent fuchsia and Let’s Eat Grandma throw themselves at new single Hot Pink, moving in sync behind twin keyboards. Backed by a live drummer, the track crunches slick, threatening bass against Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth’s taunting, faux-naive vocals: “On my pony in the sky / I just want anything and everything.” Co-produced by the avant-garde Sophie, known for sticky beats that turn pop inside out, and Faris Badwan of dream-goth outfit the Horrors, it’s a distinctly clubbier, late-night development of Let’s Eat Grandma’s eerie psych-pop.

Slight, serious, and with centre-parted manes of thick curly hair, best friends Walton and Hollingworth look uncannily alike. They started writing songs together aged 13, and three years later released their debut I, Gemini (2016) to a wave of critical acclaim. By turns sinister and sugary, the Norwich duo twisted a world from playground hand-claps, gothic singsong, starry saxophone instrumentals and a recorder solo. With second album I’m All Ears due in June, tonight’s show draws heavily from their new material with planned imprecision. They still sound like little else around.

For second new single Falling Into Me, a warped disco epic, Walton dances with awkward limbs and languid squats borrowed from noughties pop, disrupted by the need to attend to the track’s many mood swings. A new ballad, sung by Hollingworth, is open-hearted and glittering, a rewarding detour from the pop cuts released so far from I’m All Ears. On more familiar ground for older song Deep Six Textbook, Stereo’s audience cheer in recognition of the hazy, unravelling psychedelia, and the duo whip tousled curls in stoner hair-ography.

Donnie Darko, an unreleased live track pegged for the new album, closes the show: a monumental, unhurried surge that sounds like subwoofers bleeding through a wall. Hollingworth throws aside her recorder to run through the crowd, hands in the air, feeling out the response. It’s an accomplished performance from formidably talented oddities, but one that feels more a teaser than a full unveiling of Let’s Eat Grandma’s newest secrets.

• On tour until 27 September, see letseatgrandma for details.


Katie Hawthorne

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Let's Eat Grandma: I'm All Ears review – bold, intense pop that gets under the skin
The duo’s second album is all about abandoning fear and leaping towards desire

Laura Snapes

29, Jun, 2018 @9:00 AM

Article image
Let’s Eat Grandma: I, Gemini review – creepily catchy outsider pop

Gwilym Mumford

16, Jun, 2016 @9:00 PM

Article image
Pretty Vicious and Let’s Eat Grandma – what it’s like playing a festival in your teens
For most school-age kids, they’re a chance to escape the constraints of home to watch your heroes. But, for a select few, it’s a chance to play in front of thousands

Paul Lester

21, Jul, 2016 @3:42 PM

Article image
Let’s Eat Grandma: Two Ribbons review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
Written amid grief and separation, the duo’s third album uses beautiful melodies and Top 40 choruses to consider their evolving bond

Alexis Petridis

28, Apr, 2022 @1:00 PM

Article image
Let’s Eat Grandma on moving their music beyond the macabre
When the Norwich duo emerged aged 16, critics dismissed them as pop puppets. Their new album bristles at the disparagement of teenage girls – and the restrictions of femininity

Alexandra Pollard

29, Jun, 2018 @9:53 AM

Article image
Let’s Eat Grandma review – frighteningly inventive duo rip up girl-group cliches
Best friends Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton amp up the weird factor with their synth-laden glimpses into the darker sides of teenage life

Betty Clarke

02, Jun, 2016 @2:51 PM

Article image
Let’s Eat Grandma review – a sparkling testament to sisterhood
With heady vocal harmonies, synths pummelling the air and an exuberant encore, the alternative pop duo have found each other again

Tara Joshi

28, Jan, 2022 @12:05 PM

Article image
Ronika: Lose My Cool review – effervescent disco stylings

Tim Jonze

19, Jan, 2017 @10:00 PM

Article image
Kacey Musgraves review – golden disco-country loses a little sheen
Despite a fantastic sound from her band, the Grammy-winning star is awkward on stage as her lyrics are lost in the dry ice

Jude Rogers

24, Oct, 2018 @1:01 PM

Article image
Joe Goddard: Electric Lines review – earthbound disco-house from Hot Chip alumnus

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

20, Apr, 2017 @8:45 PM