Friday, 4 January 2013

Lamb – 2 February 2012, Melkweg

Lamb proves trip hop and drum and bass is alive and well.

Is there anything greater then having your name on the door of a sold out concert?

Lamb caught me by surprise and sold out a lot quicker then I had anticipated. But lady luck shone on me, on a bitterly cold February evening and a ticket was produced at the eleventh hour.

Having arrived a little later than originally anticipated, I got to the Melkweg when the support band had about 3 songs still to go, all of which were noticeably forgettable. Also the lead singer managed to rub me up the wrong way upon arrival, by telling everyone that they had to dance. While apparently they didn’t have to do anything.

The venue was filling to the brim with 27 to 35 year olds and the roadies just completed the last of their sound checks when the lights went out and a solo Andy Barlow strode to the microphone.

Andy proceeded to announce that not only would the band be taking the stage shortly but they were also about to play a recent short film “premier” to accompany their song “Butterfly Effect.” The film was directed (Claudia Crobatia) and produced (Macha Rousakov) by a couple of local Dutchies who were in the house and were greeted with cheerful and parochial applause. The film is brilliantly haunting and marries with the song in impeccable fashion, a must see if you haven’t caught it already.

Following the short film, a little more roadie action, and a bit of “get on with it” clapping from some of the crowd, the band took the stage, Andy pointing a finger in the air and Lou Rhodes with a massive smile across her face. The third member for the nights festivities was Jon Thorne playing a thin electric upright bass, and it was he who was probably the most interesting member of the night. Jon has a stage presence which resembles a person who is a little on the crazy side, he stairs into the crowed eyes with a look akin to someone who may just well jump of stage and stab someone with his bass. And he is brilliant.

Whilst Lamb originally hailed from Manchester, it is clear that they are best described as a trip hop band with heavy drum and bass moments. Did I mention Drum and Bass? This is the first concert I have ever been to and whist standing listening that my nostrils on my nose were vibrating from the base. And the answer is yes, it tickles…

The band played a mix of old and new songs and the backdrop of film and photos was really good. The highlight for me came in the form of the B-Line, where the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I had been waiting a number of years to see that song live and it didn’t disappoint. Whilst they delivered the songs excellently the bit which was a little disjointed, was the “dead air” between songs. This part of the show was where they lost their energy. A well tuned music machine would just keep the vibe and momentum traveling along, alas Lamb didn’t do this.

By the end of the show the band had played everything that I needed to hear and I really like the sound of their new stuff, and I am keen to get my hands on the new album titled “5” which is a great sign of a good concert.

Question - is it a coincidence that Portisheads last album was titled “Third” and this is “5”? All up Lamb were on stage for a little under an hour and a half and all the crowd seemed to leave happy with all they had seen, it wasn’t spectacular, rather very solid, the type of show that gave me enough to come back and want to see them next time they are in my part of the world.

Maybe here stands a concert going man trying to hold on to his youth, but if bands like Lamb keep producing trip hop and drum and bass music and concerts like this, then it wont be hard at all.


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