Review: Lanterns On The Lake – Scala, London 19.06.2013

Lanterns On The Lake _ press1Lanterns On The Lake are a band that has been through a process of change. Over the past year the band has seen two of its founding members leave and it seems there has been some picking up of pieces over the past twelve months. It’s no wonder then, that there is a slight air of trepidation as they walk onto the stage at tonight’s show. ‘It’s nice to be playing London again… at last.’ said front woman Hazel Wild, wryly making reference to the fact that tonight’s show is the result of a rescheduled gig originally slated for October 2012. The postponement presumably due in no small part to the rupture in the band’s personnel. But it soon becomes clear that after the recruitment of new bassist Andrew Scrogham, Lanterns On The Lake are more than capable of carrying on. With the release of the band’s eagerly anticipated second album Until The Colours Run, due on 09 September, tonight was a night for showcasing new material, and there was plenty of that.

After a tentative start by way of new song ‘Elodie’, they eased the crowd in before Wilde moved from piano to centre stage and they launched into a barnstorming rendition of latest single ‘Another Tale From Another English Town’. It was clear the crowd had done their homework as mouths lip-synced to Wilde’s breathy delivery. The band wasted no time in going straight into ‘A Kingdom’, one of the many stand out tracks from their debut album ‘Gracious Tide, Take Me Home’. The band played the climactic part of the song with such gusto that guitarist Paul Gregory laid down his instrument before heading over to the drum kit, hitting a side-tom with such intensity that his sticks went flying. The power emanating from the stage was so high that it appeared that the band, at three songs in, were in serious danger of peaking too early. But as they embarked on a slew of new material, it soon became clear this was not the case. The title track from their forthcoming album came across like a surge of emotive brilliance followed by another new track, ‘Our Cool Decay’, which was taken to pounding heights by Wilde and Gregory beating the jittery beat in unison with the drummer.

By now the crowd was well and truly enamoured as the band slid effortlessly into live favourite ‘Tricks’ before finishing off with the delecate refrain of ‘Not Going Back To The Harbour’. Of course, the crowd bayed for more and Wilde obliged by stepping cautiously back on stage to play a solo she said was ‘fucking scary to play in front of all of you’. What followed was a delicate composition on the piano delivered to the sold out crowd in hushed silence. Closing proceedings with ‘Vondlekerk’, another track taken from the new album, followed by a virtuoso performance of ‘I Love You, Sleepyhead’, a song that carries all the elements of uplifting melancholy that propels Lanterns On The Lake over and above the bands attempting a similar sound. When all was said and done, and despite the tumultuous changes in line up, Lanterns On The Lake delivered a show that was certainly worth the wait.

Until The Colours Run is released on 09 September by Bella Union.

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