On Friday August 30th 2019, I was at Bingley Weekender, and caught a glimpse of the future of indie-rock in the United Kingdom. The band I saw playing to a bumper crowd, I thought, in 4/5 years time would be selling out venues across the country. I was wrong, that band took less than six months to do that and last night, I had the genuine pleasure of watching The Lathums at a sold out Belgrave Music Hall, and it was without doubt, the best 45 minutes of live music I’ve seen in 2019.
The four-piece from Wigan, since the summer have quite simply, blown up. Amassing almost 13K followers on Twitter, the band have grown their fan base organically to become one of the hottest prospects going into the 2020s. I’ve seen many say the 90s belonged to Oasis, the 00s were The Killers, 10s Arctic Monkeys and now, going into the 20s, The Lathums will be that decade defining band. High praise indeed.
The set at Belgrave kicked off in some style with Villainous Victorian belted out by the young band. Frontman Alex Moore set the scene for the evening with his ridiculous range, and power as the song took over the room and the heat rose quickly. This song for me, is their best on their eponymous debut EP released in September and I couldn’t help but smile watching the guys play it.
There haven’t been many times in 2019 where I’ve been completely lost in music. You know that feeling you can’t see or feel anything around you you’re just absorbed in what’s happening on stage. When Moore starting playing Crying Out though, I knew that was about to happen. The April release is one of the most beautiful songs of the year. If you’ve ever seen Jake Bugg live, that goosebump feeling you get on Simple Pleasures, is the same feeling you’ll get hearing this live. It’s stunning – I was completely lost in the music and the words and when Alex Moore let go at the end, I can honestly say I’ve not heard anything better this year.
Honestly words can’t do this show justice, they really can’t and the boys carried on with tunes from their EP, This Place O’ Yours and The Great Escape, which provided the biggest sing-a-long of the evening. It felt like a homecoming gig for a band that have been going for years, not a band playing one of their first shows in a city. Whilst true Alex Moore takes most of the plaudits, lead guitarist Scott Concepcion is a revelation. He oozes quality and is one of the best guitarists I’ve seen at this level, ever.
New release I Know That Much was met with a warm reception by the crowd, and there seemed to be genuine shock but happy shock on the lads’ faces that the entire room knew the lyrics despite only being released three weeks prior. It’s a fantastic song on track, there’s no question, but live, the guys take it to another level and listening to it, you can see this being the set-closer in years to come, it’s that good. It’s up there with the best indie-rock tracks released this decade and that isn’t exaggerating.
I want to watch The Lathums every day for the rest of my life. For 45 minutes I forgot about the crap in the world, the election, the troubles in life, and by the time their final song Artifical Screens was played, the crowd, if they didn’t feel that way already, had officially found their new favourite band. This track is nothing short of exceptional. The way in which Ryan Durrans (Drums) and Johnny Cunliffe (Bass) help control the drive of the track is impressive. Keeping a tight lid on it whilst Alex Moore presents a quality vocal isn’t easy but they do it like they’ve been performing for a long time. When it does explode, you find yourself staring in genuine awe at what’s in front of you.
This band are going places, and fast. If they’re not the band that define the 2020s I’ll happily admit I’m wrong but, if this set is anything to go by, The Lathums are the band you need to get to know, and fast.