Live reviews


Live review: Glass Animals at EartH Hackney, 11/06/24

Glass Animals return to London for an emotional, enthralling night in Dalston

Overheard on a brisk June evening at Dalston’s EartH: “I’m so excited I can’t feel my face!”

Such is the anticipation for Oxford’s indie synth pop stalwarts Glass Animals, due on any moment. A nearby American accent states this is their eighth time seeing the Brit and Grammy nominated band. The forecasters are telling us it’s to be a cold washout of a June, but you wouldn’t notice down here, where the feverish excitement in the sold-out low-ceilinged basement hall has reached sweltering proportions.

Heat-bringer-extraordinaire and lead-singer/songwriter, Dave Bayley, strides on stage to opener ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’ with his signature charismatic dancing style. The band keep it tight while he lets loose with abandon, wildly careening like a possessed dervish from one end of the stage to the other. He’s a sight to behold and it is impossible not to get swept up in his passionate enthusiasm, which explains the utter devotion the audience displays.

“It’s good to be home guys”

Since multi-billion streamed record-breaking mega hit ‘Heat Waves’ slow-burned its way to the top of the charts around the world in 2022, the band have been in great demand and traversed the globe on a relentless touring schedule. Thankfully, this does not appear to have affected their energy levels, but it may say more about just how much it means to them to be playing this homecoming gig.

Having such an all-conquering song will inevitably result in a skewed perception towards the rest of their back catalogue, but they have the tracks to prove they are anything but one hit wonders. In fact, it has been 10 years since their first hit ‘Gooey’ from debut album Zaba first brought them to the attention of the world. We are reminded of this as Bayley takes a sojourn through the crowd before serenading it from atop the bar, a sea of glowing phones baying to capture the moment.

Their propulsive sound never dips, with ‘Take A Slice’ and ‘The Other Side Of Paradise’ from 2016’s Mercury-nominated How To Be A Human Being particular highlights. Their fourth album, aptly titled I Love You So F***ing Much is due out next month, and the evening features three of its songs, including ‘Creatures Of Heaven’. While the signature driving synths are still present, there is a more cosmic, tender feel to these tunes.

The band have endured some difficult periods, not least the pandemic, which hit so many touring artists hard, but also more personal trauma. In 2018, drummer Joe Seaward was hit by a lorry while cycling, resulting in a long recovery and cancelled tour. An event which could have ended the band ultimately fostered a closer bond and inspired their third album Dreamland. During the encore, Bayley addresses the crowd to express gratitude and gets choked up reminiscing at the journey they’ve been on and what it means to the band to come home to such an adoring crowd. The emotion and warmth of this stellar performance will be taken home and cherished by all.

Glass Animals tour the UK and Ireland in October and November 2024. Get tickets here