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lamb2017Die Kantine, Cologne, Germany
6th October 2017

It’s a celebration! For LAMB it is 21 years since the release of their first and most successful album. Who doesn’t want to revive the late 90s and its cool electronic trip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass sound? And for those who are too young to tell? Well, the 90s are back in many forms. That's why the youngest know and that's why they were there too. That speaks about the wide range of ages that enjoyed that crowded Friday night at Die Kantine in Cologne.

Formed in the late 90s in Manchester but influenced by the lively Bristol-based trip hop scene, LAMB is an electronic music duo consisting of producer Andy Barlow and singer-songwriter Lou Rhodes. Aside from trip hop, their musical style is a distinctive mixture of jazz, dub, breaks and drum and bass, with a strong vocal element. Their first album, the self-titled ‘Lamb’ was released in September 1996, followed by another three albums and a rush of singles over the next eight years. While they were a hit phenomenon in the UK, they found limited success in other parts of the world. In June 2004 they released ‘Best Kept Secrets’, their greatest hits album which marked the closure of a period. During the following decade Barlow and Rhodes worked on a variety of solo projects. It wasn’t until 2011 when the band released their next material, the live album ‘Live at Koko’ and their fifth studio album named ‘5’. Their latest release is ‘Backspace Unwind’ of 2014. The current autumn European tour celebrates the 21st anniversary of LAMB’s ground breaking debut with the album played in its entirety with a live band including the trumpet-player and double-bassist that played on the original record. /

Music & Performance
Die Kantine was the ideal venue for another night of LAMB’s “21 Year Anniversary Tour”. Good atmosphere, cool pre-show chill out music and furthermore, on a Friday! Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes came on stage followed by their regular guest musicians. Bassist Jon Thorne, drummer Nikolaj Bjerre and trumpet player Kevin Davy. The first ten songs of the show were nothing more and nothing less than their debut album played in its entirety. Lou explained that some of those songs were never or rarely played live. Having said that, the thrill wasn't behind what song would come next but how that song would sound live. Rhodes looked like a magic creature from the woods surrounded by some organic lighting flourishing around the stage. The journey took the fans to an exploration of their very first album, with sweet and bright moments so as dark-intense ones created with the wisdom and experience of 21 years. The band left the stage on a big applause after ‘Feela’, the last song of the honoured ‘Lamb’ album.

The return to stage was headlined by an introduction about the content of the second part of the show. Andy and Lou announced that it was dedicated to the newest material to be played in new versions. And so it was. A heavy slice of dub electronica, with the beguiling vocals of Lou Rhodes, the heart of LAMB beats as deep and strong as ever. Starting with ‘Angelica’ from their latest period the band moved the time back and forward over the debut’s subsequent albums. The trip seemed to be close to an end when Lou announced that ‘Illumina’ was to be the last song, which turns to be their latest single. The band left the stage to return for a beautiful version ‘Gabriel’, the second biggest hit of their career.

01. Lusty
02. God Bless
03. Cotton Wool
04. Trans Fatty Acid
05. Zero
06. Merge
07. Gold
08. Closer
09. Górecki
10. Feela
11. Angelica
12. What Sound
13. Heaven
14. Little Things
15. Ear Parcel
16. We Fall in Love
17. As Satellites Go By
18. Illumina
19. Gabriel

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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