The Wigan jangle rockers prove why they're worthy of their status as one of the UK's brightest bands at Glasgow's 02 Academy.
The Lathums step onto Glasgow's 02 Academy to the hero's acclaim they deserve.
Having just gained their second UK number 1 album, frontman Alex Moore holds up an award from the official charts company and soaks in the praise. As he'd later state, this wasn't just a celebration for the band but instead the entire venue that'd helped them get here. It also feels like confirmation of the staying power of indie rock in 2023.
After the four members gather in front of the audience and down a shot of alcohol, it's down to business. 'Say My Name' opens and provides a powerfully epic reminder of why the second album From Nothing To A Little Bit More is on an equal footing to their debut.
Tonight I've brought a mate who I was convinced was going to cancel before we were due to meet. As a Lathums newbie, he told me he found their top Spotify songs on the mediocre side (I know, I know). Well, after watching the Wigan power through their curtain raiser he was fully converted, turning round to tell me he'd made a mistake in writing them off so early. This felt like an instant victory and were words he'd repeat again as the set progressed (isn't winning friends over to your music taste enjoyable!?).
It's Friday night in Glasgow and the crowd are well up for it - mass singalongs and mosh pits start for old favourites 'The Great Escape' and 'I See Your Ghost'. This is as boisterous a gig as I've been at in a while, a healthy mixture of enthused teens and curious Britpop veterans coming together to enjoy (arguably) the UK's brightest young band.
One of the most enjoyable parts of The Lathums' performance is simply watching frontman Alex Moore do his thing without a care for pretention or looking cool. He sways around the stage with a grin and his enthusiasm is more than palpable - he seems genuinely delighted to be here tonight. The obvious irony here is how so many of the songs on their second album (which are celebrated as much as the debut tunes this evening) are about death and heartache!
But not at all of them. 'Lucky Bean' is one I didn't care for on the new record (I wrote it off as sounding too much like The Beautiful South...) but tonight find myself moving my feet and singing back the chorus. The same is true of sensitive ballad 'Struggle' - the song about the frontman's depression is warmly sung back in the hope we - his friends in the crowd - can cure his sadness.
Two of this evening's high points come late into the show. 'Sad Face Baby' with its rich bassline and euphoric chorus has the front section bouncing on their toes in celebration. Closer 'Artificial Screens' sounds so different to everything else they've performed tonight and its classic rock vibes are watched on with awe. Proper goosebumps are gained at the closing solo - the perfect way to end their set.
If I'm being honest, I woke up on Friday morning tired and not too fussed about this gig either. The walk from Glasgow Central to the 02 Academy alongside groups of teenagers a lot drunker than I was (I'd instead opted for a white chocolate mocha from Costa for the 20-minute jaunt) didn't exactly inspire confidence either.
I slowly got more into the evening as I picked up my tickets and felt relief to get through an overzealous search by the venue's security. As I sipped on my over-expensive Carlsberg to the back to the stage, I watched on as support act Dream Machine provided a mixed bag of tunes. Only their last couple hit the mark as they strived to sound like Iggy and the Stooges rather than a generic '00s indie band - which was disappointing as I enjoyed their newly released Children, My England EP.
The Lathums came on stage and I felt a sudden emotion of joy at their euphoric arrival: any doubts I had over them disappeared. They held up their album award and the jubilant audience couldn't help but burst with pride at their achievement. Over an hour later, I'd leave the Academy with a smile on my face and a buzz for live music which would last into the morning. The Lathums are number 1 in the charts and tonight they more than proved why they're worthy.