AWARD-winning band London Grammar - an act more used to headlining festivals and arenas - charmed a packed out venue in Oxford last night in a stunning show organised by an independent city record shop.

The Ivor Novello Award-winning band played the O2 Academy on Cowley Road, in a gig to promote new album Californian Soil

The show was presented by Truck Store, also on Cowley Road, which has recently promoted album launch shows for Arlo Parks, Maximo Park and IDLES.

The band, led by frontwoman Hanna Reid, delighted the crowd with hits from their debut 2013 double platinum-selling record If You Wait and 2017's chart-topping Truth Is A Beautiful Thing.

They also treated fans to songs from the new album, including title track Californian Soil, Hannah saying they were very pleased with the critically acclaimed album.

"It is what it is..." she said with trademark modesty.

Despite suffering from a cold, and apologising to the crowd in advance - telling them they could expect "an okay show", Hannah delighted with a set of soaring and heartfelt vocals backed by moody guitar, keys and miminal ambient electronica.

Oxford Mail:

She seemed visibly thrilled to be playing to what she called "actual hardcore fans" who sang along at the front of the stage, even complimenting one on her voice.

After Hannah apologised again for her cold, one audience member advised her to gargle with salt water. "Babe! If only!" she laughed back, saying it was not possible to sing like that, "expressing her emotions" with salt water.

Highlights came early on with the moody, brooding 'Hey Now', from their debut and reached an emotional peak with a heart-wrenching, almost too poignant to bear, 'Wasting My Young Years' followed by a stark, glacially beautiful Strong.

Despite Hannah's endearing self-deprecation (at one point offering guestlist places to their Ally Pally gig to anyone unsatisfied by the gig), this was a stunning, heartfelt and emotionally-charged show which revealed a band at the very top of their game and with an accomplished new album to prove it.

Oxford Mail:

That an audience at the Academy were treated to the gorgeous spectacle from a band used to far bigger venues is largely down to the crew at Truck Store, along the road. 

The shop’s Carl Smithson was clearly chuffed with his coup. “We were really pleased to be able to bring an act as popular as London Grammar to Oxford," he said. "These days you’ll more likely find them headlining festivals and arenas so a show at the O2 is very special indeed.

“Our first event of this nature with Foals became the fastest selling show in the O2 Academy’s history and a real high point for all of us. Since then we’ve worked hard alongside the record companies and our co-promoters A New View to bring some huge names to Oxford stages.

Oxford Mail:

“As these are album launch events, most attendees will have bought a ticket/album bundle and as such they have made a real difference in their favourite artist’s week-one chart placing, plus they get to see an act in the size of venue they’ll likely not play for quite some time.”

“We’ve got more of these events in the pipeline so make sure to keep an eye on our website and social media for further announcements."

  • Truck Store
  • 101 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1HU
  • 01865 793866