Let’s Eat Grandma and Let’s eat, Grandma: two grammatically experimental head tilters. One results in the consumption of a poor grandmother, while the other depicts a beloved grandmother invited to a presumably happy dinner, perhaps of lobster, perhaps with the whole family. In some ways, Norwich’s own experimental duo, Let’s Eat Grandma, are just two young teenagers – Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth – still learning to mess around with commas and other instruments for communicating with the world. In Welcome to the Treehouse, for instance, the two end up playing a maraca, guitar, ukulele, keyboard, and recorder all in a jumbled, bizarre five minutes to capture the longing for the idealistic and chaotic world of a treehouse. The keyboard, once a toddler’s toy, sounds suddenly eerier than anyone remembered it underneath Walton’s fingertips; at one point, the two unite in high pitched, harmonic screams. The comma is gone. Rules are dead. The grandma will be eaten. The two met at the age of four, and decided to start a band when Walton got a guitar for her 13th birthday. Hollingworth had proposed Walton try to be the next Jessie J, to which Walton suggested they just start their own band instead.
They were and are young, and so unapologetically began covering Ed Sheeran songs. But then they started writing their own material, and before long, Ed Sheeran became Let’s Eat Grandma (who would have thought?). Their first song, Get Off the Banister, was inspired when Hollingworth’s mum told them to get off the banister. Soon their songs started getting more meaningful, ranging in subject from alarm clocks to Rapunzel the unconscious mind. You could say their age was showing, and you could say that’s okay.
“There’s a difference between the response people have to our music, and the response people have to us,” Hollingworth said. “Some people think we’re mad. Some people don’t understand us”. Gradually, more and more instruments kept arriving in Let’s Eat Grandmas’ basements. Soon they had gigs at Epic Studios, the Birdcage, the Waterfront, and then around the country.
Walton and Hollingworth are different people, but sometimes, it’s hard to tell. Walton is more of the performer. While Hollingworth might be strolling on stage coolly with her saxaphone during a performance of Sax in the City for instance, Walton takes a break from the harmonica to make eye contact. They’re also still in school. One of their recent songs, Deep Six Textbook, goes, “We live our lives in the textbook, letter by letter. I feel like standing on the desk and screaming, I don’t care!”
“I don’t know how to tell my teachers about Let’s Eat Grandma,” Hollingworth admitted. “We’re always behind with school work. I think my teachers think I spend my time doing nothing. I would tell them, but I don’t know how to tell them to check out our Facebook page. There’s music at school. There’s concerts and stuff. But I spend too much time doing this”. Their music depicts the way the world sounds for two fifteen-year-old girls growing up, and though each song sounds more smooth and crafted, they never sound any less weird.