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20th March 2023

How Beautiful Gigs Can Be, with The Lathums

The Lathums take their punchy brand of indie-rock to Albert Hall for the night
How Beautiful Gigs Can Be, with The Lathums
The Lathums at Albert HallPhoto: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

At multiple points during The Lathums‘ Albert Hall gig, the crowd bursts into spontaneous whooping chants of “number one, number one, UK number One!”. It’s a busy time for The Lathums, who as of this week have scored their second back-to-back number one in the album charts. For a band who’s debut album – How Beautiful Life Can Be – also rocketed through the UK charts on release in 2021, it seems as if The Lathums have mastered the tricky second album, and are on a trajectory towards dizzier and dizzier heights.

If the band didn’t know it before, they certainly will after Saturday’s knock-out, sold-out performance at the Albert Hall, not too far from their homeplace of Wigan. Embarking on a tour that’ll carry them across the Channel, the band are geared up and eager to give the crowd what it wants: a punchy set of indie rock hits that plays out in just over an hour.

The Lathums at Albert Hall
The Lathums at Albert Hall – Photo: Eve Micklewright @The Mancunion

As frontman Alex More enters the stage to Al Wilson‘s ‘The Snake’the crowd seethes forward and backwards in anticipation like a jumped up anaconda. It’s packed. Sweat on the walls and soon, on all our faces. More begins the set with a bang with ‘Say My Name’ from their latest album. Drummer Ryan Durrans in particular is giving his all.

Soon into the set, More tells us that he’s recovering from a root canal he’d had that morning. If I’d had a root canal, I’d be laying horizontal for the rest of the day, preferably in a quiet room with dim lights. More seems completely at home on stage though, as confetti cannons explode over the crowd and lights flash.

The Lathums at Albert Hall – Photo: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

The band carry us through a kaleidoscopic, careering set of instant hits. ‘I See Your Ghost’ plunges, jangles and oscillates, showing off More’s vocal range, whilst ‘Fight On’ gets the whole crowd punching the air along to the anthemic chorus. ‘The Great Escape’ holds some of their best lyrics to date, and everyone seems to know every word.

The crowd laps it all up, from the energy of their rockier songs to the heartwarming love songs such as ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’, which – as it should – brings the Albert Hall down. ‘Lucky Bean’ and ‘I Know’, both from their new album, are both sweet as sticks of rock, ‘I Know’ in particular being reminiscent of Humbug era Arctic MonkeysThe latter half of the set includes some of their most crowd-pleasing songs such as ‘Sad Face Baby’.

At one point, More stops the set to ask a group near the front if they’re okay. “We’re all here to have fun, but […] there’s people who might get hurt, so chill out”, he says. It’s encouraging to see a band so quick to identify potential problems for the crowd. More recently tweeted that a female fan had told him she’d been treated “very inappropriately” at their Glasgow gig, and that he was “disgusted” that she’d experienced that at their show. It’s important to see bands taking this on promptly and seriously, and makes for a safer atmosphere for the rest of the night.

The Lathums conclude their night with a euphoric encore including ‘Struggle’, which speaks about loss and nostalgia. Entering the halls of indie rock lands you immediately in the sticky web of comparison. The Lathums have been likened to Arctic Monkeys, The Courteeners, and The Mystery Jets, although the sweetest of their loves songs also remind me of Madness. However, The Lathums manage to hold their own, and hopefully time will only sharpen their gaze. They’ve proved they can do indie rock, now, let’s see where else they can go.

Izzy Langhamer

Izzy Langhamer

Izzy Langhamer enjoys writing all things Manchester, covering food, drink and music across the city. In her spare time she studies English Literature.

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