Lamb Live Review
Somerset House, London 16/07/11
Formed over a decade ago, Lamb have often sailed around the waters of the mainstream consciousness without ever delving too deeply into its waters.
Despite a host of critically acclaimed albums in their back catalogue stardom has always seemed to allude them, resulting in most people only recognising their tunes from numerous adverts and movie soundtracks, rather than their own CD collection.
In 2004 they released a greatest hits album, poignantly titled Best Kept Secrets, following which core members Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes decided to put the band on hiatus and pursue solo projects.
In 2009 the band got back together for a series of live shows at festivals across the globe, and after a split with their record label they finally released their new studio album, 5 in May this year.
The build-up to tonight’s show could have been better; a day of heavy rain isn’t perhaps the most ideal prelude to an open-air performance. Despite this the venue is filled with a sell-out audience, albeit armed with umbrellas.
As Lamb take to the stage they open with Another Language, the first track from the new album. As the track ends the audience seem appreciative but a little subdued, and it’s hard to tell if this due to the band opening with less familiar material or the day’s weather just taking its toll on the crowd.
The band move onto more familiar territory next with Little Things and Lusty taken from their first two albums, and the audience seems to become more animated in response. Rhodes and Barlow are joined on stage throughout by bassist Jon Thorne, and together the three are able to captivate and energise the 3,000 plus strong crowd.
The main body of their set is comprised of new material with old favourites thrown in just often enough to stop anyone not so familiar with the new album becoming restless.
The band are joined on stage midway through the set by a string quartet for a powerful rendition of their hit Gabriel. It seems it’s not only the crowd but also the heavens that are particularly pleased with this performance as the previously ominous clouds disperse to reveal bright stars and seagulls.
The band seem to feed off the audiences new found energy and tear through the rest of the set before closing with their biggest hit to date, Gorecki.
This leads to the audience demanding an encore and the band return to perform The Spectacle and a particularly gritty reworking of Transfatty Acid from their debut release. To finish off the evening though Lamb come out to their second and final encore and close with What Sound, the title track from their 2001 album.
With previous solo outings and the recent decision to distance themselves from their old record label it’s unsure just what the future holds for Lamb; but based on performances like tonight it’s clear that it will be a rich and rewarding experience for those that chose to follow them for the ride.