The Lathums are the band of the moment, and there was a sense of celebration about their performance at The Globe on Tuesday night, with every word sang back to them by a packed and appreciative crowd. The Wigan quartet began with the superb Fight On, a standout track from their number one debut album How Beautiful Life Can Be, and it was greeted with huge cheers. The energy rarely lets up from there; in fact, if you closed your eyes, you could just about imagine that you were standing in a field somewhere sunny on a festival afternoon, instead of being in a cramped venue in the thick of a cold Welsh winter.
Other highlights included the summery shimmer of I’ll Get By and the jagged ska of I See Your Ghost, all sung brilliantly by charismatic frontman Alex Moore. One criticism of the show could be that it felt rather slight, seeming to end not long after it started, and without the support of Wrexham up and comers The Royston Club, this might have been a case. This is to be expected from a band at the start of their career – How Beautiful… is shy of 40 minutes – and there were few lulls during the set. Even on slower, pared-back songs, such as the delicate I’ll Never Forget The Time I Spent With You, the audience response was an enthusiastic chorus.
Young British indie bands are invariably compared to what came before them, and while the jingle-jangle guitars of The Great Escape might lead to obvious early-Arctic Monkeys comparisons, The Lathums are not quite in that league – the songwriting occasionally veers towards pedestrian – and their tuneful approach is more akin to bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club and Two Door Cinema Club. There’s clearly still an appetite for lagers aloft, jangly guitar music, and The Lathums are more than capable of filling that space.
Where they go next will be interesting to see: will they evolve, or fall into the trap of a formula? Time will tell, but right now, in the sweet spot between obscurity and stardom, these four young men are at the beginning of a big journey. They started out as a wedding band; it won’t be long before they’re filling arenas.
The Globe, Cardiff, Tue 16 Nov
words JOSHUA REES photos ANTHONY CONWAY
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