[16 September 2013]
AlunaGeorge, the UK R&B duo made up of Aluna Francis and George Reid are creating a lot of buzz with only one proper album to their credit. Body Music is being hailed as amongst the best R&B of the year and the duo’s collaboration with another buzz-worthy group, Disclosure has also been a popular track. The band made their debut performance in New York at the Bowery Ballroom in a short set lasting no more than 45 minutes, but through their performance, the band gave new vitality to the album’s sonic pastiche.
Francis took center stage of the Bowery Ballroom clad as a glamorous prizefighter in a shiny warm up robe that covered a white top and deep black, fashionable leather, athletic-style shorts. It wasn’t just for show, well it didn’t hurt the show, as Francis pranced and bounced around the stage, she waved her arms, looked into the crowd’s eyes and gave soul to the lyrics. Reid remained behind his synth as the serious counterpoint to Francis who occasionally joined him. The group’s club sounds really shone though giving their R&B and soul a new body
The band kicked off with “Just a Touch” and started to warm up the audience wither their beats. But it was during “Best be Believin’” that Francis herself really came to life as she cast aside her robe, ready to fight her imaginary opponent and the audience cheering her on with the “nah nah nah nah nah” lyrics. Following “You Know You Like It”, Reid created a sonic interlude with some hip-hop samples before busting into a cover of Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do it”, a nice novelty (and bonus album track) but I would have appreciated another of their originals.
Heading into their final stretch, the band surprisingly performed “White Noise”, the Disclosure track they had collaborated on and unleashing a torrent of energy. They allowed “Your Drums, Your Love”, the follow up, to give the audience some air before heading off the stage. The crowd stood waiting for the band to return for an encore, I was hoping to hear “Superstar”, but alas it didn’t happen. A lack of an encore may just mean AlunaGeorge need some time to flesh out their act. But either way, they were still fun to see live as a performance space allows Reid’s beats to embrace the crowd while Francis pummels them lyrically.
Just a Touch
Best Be Believin’
You Know You Like It
This Is How We Do It (Montell Jordan)
Lost And Found
White Noise (Disclosure)
Your Drums, Your Love