The Lathums at the Roundhouse
As part of a European tour following the release of their new album – the modestly titled From Nothing to a Little Bit More – The Lathums played London’s Roundhouse last night, filling the former railway shed with a blend of anthemic guitar music and happy-go-lucky charisma that delighted a raucous crowd, who responded to the second successive chart-topping album by chanting to remind the band they are, for now, “UK’s number one”.
Aside from their remarkably fast rise from pub-circuit band to widespread commercial success, what is perhaps most impressive about The Lathums studio achievements is that they appear far more suited to live performance. The Wigan-based four-piece have an at times jangly, often nostalgic sound, which tends to build into swells around the always-focused vocals of frontman Alex Moore. They came out to Say My Name, a recognisable hit from the new album that has more thrust in person, driven by a thumping bass drum and punchy, bending guitar lines which soar over Moore’s lyrics. It’s an instant crowd-pleaser, and as Moore holds out his arms to the adoring audience in what will become a repeated embrace, he cuts a quasi-messianic figure, a master of ceremonies in a wide-collared shirt, playfully directing the crowd’s euphoria.
The night reached those climatic heights often, most notably in Fight On and Sad Face Baby, where Moore’s vocals were at times lost in the cacophony of each chorus, and yet this strangely didn’t detract from the success of what the band were creating on stage. The more pared-back sound of the saccharine How Beautiful Life Can Be and piano ballad Turmoil were less successful, and suggested that their undeniable ear for anthemic melodies and capacity to take a crowd with them are not fully matched by their lyricism.
Moore’s homely, boyish charm makes him an ideal frontman for the feel-good energy the band seeks to create. He sought numerous fresh cups of tea, danced unselfconsciously during the slower songs, and playfully recalled Frank Sinatra when crooning, “Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere” into the mic to end a cover of John Lennon’s (Just Like) Starting Over. Moore’s charisma, alongside the flawless delivery of his band’s upbeat material, perhaps best embodies the affable, democratic quality that gives The Lathums their appeal, and while their nostalgic sound does not always compare favourably to their musical forefathers, the crowd leaving the Roundhouse after a joyous encore appeared to have been roused by a band destined for arena-sized venues.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit The Lathums’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Struggle here: