London Grammar

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London Grammar
London Grammar in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2017 (1).jpg
London Grammar performing in St. Petersburg in July 2017
Background information
OriginNottingham, England
Years active2009–present
  • Hannah Reid
  • Dominic "Dot" Major
  • Dan Rothman
Past membersJo Jukes

London Grammar are an English indie pop band formed in Nottingham in 2009. The band consists of Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic 'Dot' Major.[5][6] Their debut extended play, Metal & Dust, was released in February 2013 by Metal & Dust Recordings,[7] while their debut album, If You Wait, was released in September 2013. The album reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The band's second studio album, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, was released in June 2017, peaking at number one on the UK Albums Chart.


2009–2012: Early career[edit]

Vocalist Hannah Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman are originally from London[8] and met in the Ancaster Hall of residence at the University of Nottingham during their first year in 2009. Rothman saw that Reid played the guitar and contacted her to see if she wanted to collaborate. They were joined by Northampton native Dominic 'Dot' Major (keyboard, djembe, drums) a year later, after he began playing music together with Rothman.[citation needed] They chose the name as "not only was it where we're from, but London is also so international and multicultural that it actually felt like quite a universal name in a way."[8]

After completing their studies in the middle of 2011, the trio moved down to London to pursue a career in music. By the end of the year they were managed by Conor Wheeler who began promoting them.[9][10] The band began by playing low-key gigs at local bars, honing their material.[5][7] They soon found themselves noticed by a number of A&R people, and they were signed with the Ministry of Sound while Big Life took over the management duties in the second half of 2012.[11] In the same year the trio did some early recordings with Rollo Armstrong of Faithless and Liam Howe of Sneaker Pimps.[12] Later in the year, the band continued to work with Tim Bran of Dreadzone and Roy Kerr, and by the end of the year most of the recording had been completed. On 12 December 2012, the trio posted their song "Hey Now" on YouTube; it immediately received a large amount of attention.[13]

2013–2016: If You Wait[edit]

Their EP Metal & Dust followed in February 2013, and it made the top five of the iTunes chart in Australia. It created a lot of interest, and the band received significant airplay on national radio.[11] They released their single "Wasting My Young Years" in June 2013, peaking at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart. The band also featured on Disclosure's album Settle with the track "Help Me Lose My Mind", released in June 2013.[14] The band has recorded two live sessions for Radio 1, and they played at ten summer 2013 European music festivals. In September 2013, Reid was the subject of a Radio 1 Breakfast Show Twitter post, which was criticised for being sexist. The backlash forced the corporation to apologise, while the trio "decided to stay out of it".[8]

On 1 September 2013, they released "Strong", which peaked at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was later used in the 2014 American TV series "Reckless" for its second episode, "Parting Shots". On 9 September 2013, they released their debut studio album If You Wait, which peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart. It also peaked at number two on the Australian Albums Chart,[15] number 11 on the French Albums Chart, number 13 on the Irish Albums Chart, and number 22 on the New Zealand Albums Chart. The band is signed to Columbia Records in the United States.[16] On 8 December 2013, a single for the album, "Nightcall" was released. Their cover was used again for the "Reckless" show in its last episode "Civil Wars Part 2".

On 13 January 2014, the band performed "Strong" and "Wasting My Young Years" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,[17] marking their debut performance on American television.[18] On 1 April 2014, the Official Charts Company announced that London Grammar's If You Wait was the fifth top-selling album of 2014 so far, with sales of over 138,000 copies (356,000 total).[19] London Grammar won an Ivor Novello Award in the Best Song Musically and Lyrically category for "Strong".[20] And later in 2014 they won two awards, "Independent Breakthrough of The Year" and "PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Act", at the AIM Independent Music Awards.[21]

On 2 September 2014 French fashion house Dior released an advertisement campaign for J'Adore that featured the song "Hey Now" (The Shoes remix).[22][23]

2017–present: Truth Is a Beautiful Thing[edit]

On 1 January 2017, London Grammar shared the single "Rooting for You", marking the group's first new music since their debut album in 2013.[24] On 1 February 2017, they shared the second single "Big Picture" via their Facebook page. They sang "Big Picture" during their performance on Later with Jools Holland.

Truth Is a Beautiful Thing was released on 9 June 2017.[25] The album was largely recorded with producers Paul Epworth and Greg Kurstin.[26] It charted at number one in the UK.[27]

During the autumn of 2017, the band's cover version of the Chris Isaak song "Wicked Game" was used in the trailer for the BBC series Peaky Blinders.[28]

In June 2019, London Grammar was featured on "Let You Know", a song by Australian musician Flume.

Musical style[edit]

London Grammar's music has been described as "a blend of ambient, ethereal and classical sounds"[29] with melancholy guitar, soaring vocals, and plaintive lyrics. Hannah Reid's powerful, haunting vocals, prominent on all of London Grammar's tracks released to date, are often compared to those of Judie Tzuke and Florence Welch.[30] The songs are a collaborative effort as Reid explains: "I write the lyrics and the top lines. But the songs initiate from all three of us. Dot will write a piano part or a music score. Dan will add some guitars."[11] She describes the songs as "emotionally affected" and said that she "writes about people who come in and out of my life."[31]

Hannah Reid[edit]

Hannah Reid was born on 30 December 1989.[32] She is the lead singer and songwriter of London Grammar. Reid grew up in Acton, and went to school in West London. She received classical vocal training, and wanted to pursue psychoanalysis as a career and worked as a hairdresser and in a bar before going to university. She was initially planning to pursue acting after earning a drama scholarship. Reid was studying art history and English at the University of Nottingham when she started the band.[33] She met London Grammar guitarist Dan Rothman in a residence hall at the University of Nottingham in 2009. After seeing her playing the guitar, he sent her a Facebook message inviting Reid to form a band.[33]

Her battle with stage fright has been widely reported; in an interview she said about being on stage “(...)sometimes the nerves don’t lift at all, and I just feel horrible, and panicky throughout.” To help combat this phobia, she started practicing Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She is gluten-intolerant, and in addition to avoiding certain foods, she also avoids drinking alcohol.[32] She was caught in the middle of a Twitter polemic after the Radio 1 Breakfast Show sent out a sexist tweet about her appearance.[34] Reid is also known for her expansive vocal range and emotive contralto voice.[35][36][37]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Work Category Result Ref.
2013 UK Music Video Awards "Wasting My Young Years" Best Visual Effects in a Video Nominated [38]
Best Alternative Video - UK Won [citation needed]
2014 "Nightcall" Nominated [39]
Best Cinematography in a Video Nominated
If You Wait Best Music Ad – TV or Online Nominated
Themselves Best Video Artist Nominated
Brit Awards British Breakthrough Act Nominated
Q Awards Best New Act Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards "Strong" Best Song Musically & Lyrically Won [40]
2017 UK Music Video Awards "Rooting for You" Best Live Session Nominated
2018 Brit Awards Themselves Best British Group Nominated


  1. ^ Geslani, Michelle (2 June 2017). "London Grammar share two new videos for 'Oh Woman Oh Man' — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  2. ^ Gebremedhin, Thomas (9 September 2013). "London Grammar's Exclusive Remix of "Strong" from DJ Jonas Rathsman". Vogue. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  3. ^ Geslani, Michelle (9 June 2017). "London Grammar share new album Truth Is A Beautiful Thing: Stream/download". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  4. ^ Bartleet, Larry (15 January 2016). "London Grammar – 'Truth Is A Beautiful Thing' Review". NME. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Lester, Paul (22 April 2013). "New band of the day: London Grammar (No 1,497)". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  6. ^ Knowles, Robin (4 June 2013). "Introducing... London Grammar". BBC. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b James Lachno (13 June 2013). "London Grammar – New Faces". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b c David Smyth (22 November 2013). "London Grammar singer Hannah Reid on sexism in the music industry". London Evening Standard. Reid is from the Acton area and Rothman from Hendon
  9. ^ "Dan Rothman Linkedin entry". LinkedIn. Notes that he graduated in 2011 with a BA in Economics and philosophy
  10. ^ "Conor Wheeler Linkedin entry". LinkedIn. Details his period as a manager for the band from December 2011 to June 2012
  11. ^ a b c Dominic Smith (16 May 2013). "The Great Escape: London Grammar". The Argus.
  12. ^ "London Grammar Interview". Bristol Beats Club. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  13. ^ Huw Oliver (4 September 2013). "London Grammar: Space is the answer". DIY Magazine.
  14. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". UK Official Charts. 15 June 2013.
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts 14 Sept 2013" (PDF). ARIA Charts. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  16. ^ "London Grammar To Release Debut Album If You Wait September 10" (Press release). New York: Columbia Records. PR Newswire. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Watch London Grammar Play Fallon". Stereogum. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Which Member of London Grammar Cried When She Found Out Elvis Was Dead? - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  19. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Artist Albums of 2014 so far!". UK Official Charts. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Ivor Novello Awards 2014: Tom Odell, London Grammar and Nick Cave all winners". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  21. ^ "AIM Independent Music Awards 2014 Winners Announced – The Association of Independent Music". Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Dior J'adore – "The future is gold" – The new film". YouTube. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  23. ^ "London Grammar – "Hey Now" (J'adore Dior Remix by The Shoes)". YouTube. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  24. ^ "London Grammar share new single 'Rooting For You'". NME. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  25. ^ "London Grammar announce new album and unveil title track 'Truth Is A Beautiful Thing'". NME. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  26. ^ "London Grammar – 'Truth Is A Beautiful Thing' Review – NME". NME. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  27. ^ "London Grammar See Off Katy Perry To Land No.1 Album With 'Truth Is A Beautiful Thing' | MTV UK". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  28. ^ Allen, Ben. "Watch the gloomy first trailer for Peaky Blinders series 4". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  29. ^ "London Grammar: 'We've been given time to develop naturally'". Gigwise.
  30. ^ "London Grammar: 'We've gone as pop as we can'". Digital Spy.
  31. ^ Selby, Jenn (9 September 2013). "If You Wait: London Grammar discuss their striking debut album". Glamour. UK. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  32. ^ a b "London Grammar interview: Will they overcome their morbid fear of the".
  33. ^ a b Dean, Jonathan (3 September 2017). "London Grammar's Hannah Reid on how to survive global stardom" – via
  34. ^ "London Grammar's Hannah Reid on Radio 1 tweet: 'Putting my looks up for debate was wrong' - NME". 2 December 2013.
  35. ^ Gill, Andy (7 June 2017). "Album reviews: Katy Perry - Witness, London Grammar - Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, and more". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  36. ^ Clayton, Richard (7 March 2014). "London Grammar, Troxy, London". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  37. ^ Smith, Patrick (31 October 2017). "When will London Grammar fulfil their potential? – Brixton Academy, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  38. ^ "UK Music Video Awards 2013, le nomination". 1 October 2013.
  39. ^ "UK Music Video Awards 2014: here are the nominations... | News | Promonews". Promonewstv.
  40. ^ "Archive | The Ivors | The Ivors Academy | Champions of Music Creators". The Ivors Academy.

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