AlunaGeorge at The Academy – Review and Photos
AlunaGeorge at The Academy Dublin
October 16th, 2013
Wednesday night saw electro-RnB duo AlunaGeorge take to The Academy stage for their (official) Irish debut. The pair have garnered a well-deserved share of critical acclaim and chart success since the release of ‘You Know You Like It’ in 2012. Their Disclosure collaboration ‘White Noise’ was a no.2 hit in the UK while they were also named on BBC’s Sound of 2012 list. Chart success has not come so readily here in Ireland however and tickets remain available at the door.
However the duo still has a respectable sized crowd and some very enthusiastic fans.
Tonight Danish alt-pop songstress MØ supports George and Aluna. Straddling a line somewhere between Grimes and Robyn, MØ is a perfect warm-up for the evening. Donning a skintight black dress and a ponytail that leant itself perfectly to whipping, MØ owned the stage for her short six song set. With some wild dance moves and artsy iMovie background videos she performed tracks from her upcoming ‘Bikini Daze’ EP. However it was her breakout track ‘Waste of Time’ that got the best crowd reaction and led MØ off stage and on to the floor for her finale.
After a short break, the ice-cold beats of ‘Just a Touch’ heralded AlunaGeorge on stage. Vocalist Aluna struts centre stage in a midriff-baring white crop top, while George appears a far shyer character to the left in jeans and a hoody.
Aluna cuts an impressive figure on stage with legs that seem infinite and a voice that lies somewhere between Cassie and CocoRosie. She coolly buzzes through an impressive series of tunes such as ‘Attracting Flies’ and new single ‘Best Be Believing’. The songs are filled with late nineties/early noughties flare and sound like long-lost productions by The Neptunes. Indeed producer George is a bit of an unsung hero here. He stays hunched over his desk with only a brief interlude focused on his beat-making skills.
For the remainder of the night it was all about Aluna. Though technically a strong performer, Aluna’s style didn’t mesh well with an Irish audience. It was surprising to see someone with a voice as sugary sweet as Aluna to come across so cold on stage. She’s a woman of few words and seems quite frosty despite being far from stiff on stage. The ice queen bit is a tough act to pull off.
Luckily about halfway through the set, Aluna’s guard has dropped. Her limbs get loose and the moves become slinkier, marking a huge improvement in the set. Unfortunately by this time the duo have completely lost the balcony crowd who remain motionless for the remainder of the set.
Saving bonafide hit ‘White Lies’, AlunaGeorge get the entire floor dancing. Disclosure’s House production is switched up for a slightly glitchier AlunaGeorge sound, but there’s no stopping the floor filling power of this one. They end with crowd-pleaser ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ and seem genuinely impressed by the Irish crowd’s reaction. Perhaps they’re a bit too used to London’s cool audience reactions and a few more gigs on this side of the Irish Sea could help AlunaGeorge bring a touch more personality to the stage.
Review by Damien Ryan
Photos by Laur Ryan