Adam Frame is a wee lad from Livingston (so I’m told) with a bit of a talent for the music. I’d seen the online footage of Tommy O’Dell from the DMAs joining him at the mic in MacSorleys to sing a couple of DMAs tunes during Adam’s gig there and a couple of other clips of him playing his acoustic guitar in various bars so it came as a surprise to me when he unleashed a four piece band on us at King Tut’s, supporting The Lathums’ sold out gig.
We saw a bit of everything (apart from his solo acoustic thing), from his intelligent lyrical songwriting, a couple of great guitar riffs and a big guitar solo in his last tune. Having the band meant he could even lay down his guitar and strike a rockstar pose at the mic during one song. He got the crowd warmed up and dancing and I expect we’ll see plenty more of Adam in the near future.
The Lathums (sounds like bath-ums incidentally, not lay-thumbs) had brought a delegation of dedicated fans from Wigan – pretty impressive for a Thursday night – but the majority of the sell-out crowd were fans from Glasgow, and what fans! Considering this band were playing for relatives’ birthdays in the back garden a couple of years ago, the famous King Tut’s stairway looks like a step in a rise that can only be described as meteoric. While the crew were setting up for The Lathums to come on, the whole crowd sang along to The Smiths “This Charming Man” on the background music, and you could already see where this was going.
The lights went down, the smoke machine exhaled deeply from the side of the stage and the crowd erupted as the band walked on stage to The Housemartins’ “Caravan of Love”. The Lathums then gave us both barrels, with “Villainous Victorian” followed by “Fight On” and if anyone in the audience wasn’t already up to speed, that would have done the trick. The crowd launched themselves (and quite a lot of beer) into the air and sang and danced their way through the whole show, even opening up a circle pit during the last song “Artificial Screens”. The roof had been raised well before that point, with the singing during “The Great Escape” nearly drowning out the band.
Alex Moore (guitar and vocals) is writing some great material – this crowd sang their way through most of the show – but The Lathums are a sum of their four parts and everyone contributes. His lyrics are intelligent and he knows how to craft a catchy chorus that gets the fans joining in. Scott Concepcion on lead guitar is a bit of a Johnny Marr fan and can pick a nice lick to lead into a tune (“I Know That Much” and “The Great Escape” to name but some) and he can get a bit bluesy or straight up raunchy in his solos for tunes like “Crying Out” or “Artificial Screens”. The whole show is driven along by a tight and versatile rhythm section: Ryan Durrans keeps everything right from the engine room and Johnny Cunliffe on bass sets the tone, from the stepping Beatley plod of “Villainous Victorians” to a slappy funk vibe in “This Place O’ Yours”.
This really felt like one of those fabulous “I was there!” nights, and the chat on the way out of the venue was along the “we’ll not see them up that close again” lines. The Lathums are possibly the best thing to have happened to Wigan since the Romans left (with apologies to any rugby league fans) and have a rapidly growing following. Expect (and try) to see them back in Glasgow, hopefully in June, and at pretty much every festival that can be squeezed into a British Summer.
Gig Review by Trevor