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L7 - Electric Ballroom, London, 16/6/2015

  by Tom Fogarty

published: 25 / 9 / 2015

L7 - Electric Ballroom, London, 16/6/2015


Tom Fogarty watches controversial all-female grunge rockers L7 make a triumphant return after a twenty year absence at the Electric Ballroom in London

Tuesday night in London’s Camden Town and the area outside the Electric Ballroom is buzzing. The small venue is sold out tonight and although it’s still early, the place is already packed out and the atmosphere is highly charged with excited anticipation. I, for one, am particularly delighted, as tonight L7 will be performing after an absence of nearly 20 years. The recently reformed grunge band are playing a handful of gigs across Europe and the states this year and everyone here has clearly been waiting for this for a long time following a successful Kickstarter campaign to get the band back in action again. Formed in the mid 80s, the feisty four-piece came to notoriety in the early 90s, causing much controversy by stripping off on Channel 4’s music show, The Word, and famously throwing a used tampon into the baying crowd at Reading festival. Despite these attention grabbing antics, it was always their music that was important however, with their upbeat, fast-paced and humourous songs - the complete antithesis to Nirvana’s dreary, over-serious brand of grunge music. And for this reason 'Bricks Are Heavy' will always beat 'Nevermind' in the nostalgia stakes. So how will their music and stage chemistry hold up tonight after such a lengthy hiatus? The answer is very well indeed. When the band take to the stage the place erupts and it is obvious from the outset that this evening will be fun and extremely loud. Starting with 'Deathwish', the band play a best-of set, which is everything the audience could have hope for. The group’s passion and onstage chemistry is plain to see and a joy to witness. Up next is 'Fuel My Fire', which featured as a cover on Prodigy’s 'Fat of The Land' album. They also play the high-octane 'Right On Thru', and crowd-pleaser 'Shitlist', originally made famous by featuring on the carefully selected soundtrack to 'Natural Born Killers'. They follow suit with 'Fast and Frightening', and the best tracks from 'Bricks Are Heavy'; 'Monster', 'Shove' and 'Pretend We’re Dead' - and even play a couple of unheard tunes as a bonus. The show is a resounding success and they could easily have filled a much larger venue – both with their stage presence and fan attendance. L7 have stated online that they are not planning to record any new studio material, but seeing them tonight has made me very eager to see the upcoming retrospective documentary about the group, due for release later in the year. I’m very happy to have finally seen the band tonight, and I truly hope we don’t have to wait so long for the next tour.

Also at Electric Ballroom, London

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L7 - Electric Ballroom, London, 16/6/2015

L7 - Electric Ballroom, London, 16/6/2015

L7 - Electric Ballroom, London, 16/6/2015

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