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London Grammar tackles the fame game

The U.K.’s biggest indie band keeps stealing the spotlight, despite shunning it.
London Grammar

From left: Dan Rothman, Hannah Reid and Dot Major.

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Coldplay and Imagine Dragons count themselves as fans, their concert sales have outsold Miley’s in their native U.K. and their debut album, “If You Wait” debuted at number two on the U.K. chart. And in a time when celebrity is perhaps the most sought-after accolade, the three best friends who make up indie electropop band London Grammar have no interest in being “famous.” In fact, it’s something that quite scares them.

‘We just love making music’
When we asked band member Dot Major why the performance-shy trio pursued such a public career, his answer is simple. “I suppose we just love making music and if we didn’t [perform], then we wouldn’t [get to do that],” he told us on the phone from London. “Often when you’re writing music, you don’t end up thinking about the fact that you might end up performing it.”

The band, whose sound has been compared so much to The XX and Florence & The Machine that it’s a lazy cliche, met as students at the University of Nottingham. None of them were studying music. “I was doing accounting and English, Hannah [Reid] was studying English and art history and Dan [Rothman] was doing economics and philosophy,” he says.

After Reid posted a photo on Facebook of her with a guitar, Rothman messaged her asking if she wanted to form a band, and Reid said sure, suggesting Major serve as the drummer. They played the pub circuit and were signed to Ministry of Sound shortly after they graduated.

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‘We’ve grown, not changed’
Seemingly overnight, they became the new indie “it” band, but amazingly they’ve avoided the spotlight and haven’t gotten caught up in their newfound fame. There haven’t been any major riffs or behind the music drama, despite being 20-somethings navigating a fickle business. “I don’t think we’ve changed,” Major says, reflecting on the past couple years.

“We’ve definitely learned a lot and been opened up a bit in terms on the world. I think we’ve grown, but I don’t think we’ve changed necessarily.” And in terms of their friendship, they’re close than ever. “We’re around each other all day every day. We’ve certainly gone from what was a best friendship to a sort of sibling relationship,” Major says.

And as for that pesky task of performing to sold-out venues, they’ve certainly grown into it. A London Grammar concert is unique in the sense that fans really revere the music as opposed to bouncing up and down and screaming along. The band feeds off the vibe, expanding their songs to sound even fuller than they do on the album. “I like performing songs that we can do more with than what’s on the album,” Major says. Keeping true with what the band really is all about, the performance really is all about the music.

If you go:

Boston
Monday, January 26, 7 p.m.
House of Blues
15 Landsdowne St., 888-693-2583
www.houseofblues.com/boston

New York City
Tuesday, January 27, 6:30 p.m.
Terminal 5
610 W. 56th St., 212-582-6600
www.terminal5nyc.com

Philadelphia
Friday, January 30, 8:30 p.m.
Electric Factory
421 N. Seventh St., 215-627-1332
www.electricfactory.info

 
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