Hailing from Leigh and on the southern most point of the ‘World Tour of the UK’, you could forgive burgeoning indie-pop aficionados The Lottery Winners for any random bout of anxiety.
This a group, after all, that has spent years strapped into the revolving gig circuit of the country’s most diverse music scene in the north west, bringing their often coltish creations to life with typical wry Mancunian wit to the ears of the devotees they perhaps most relate to. But this intoxicating four-piece really are different.
Everything was here on display at Southampton’s The Joiners. Lead vocalist and guitarist Thom Rylance may beguile the audience into believing he’s a semi-professional comic who’s taken a gig with a band, but below the self-deprecating that he exudes, there is a singer that understands the setting his band simmer within.
Favourites ‘Elizabeth’ – a track taken straight from an early Smiths songbook – where the jangling hook makes for a misleading hark of happiness within a track filled with missed opportunities and forlorn romance. There is also ‘Young Love’ – an instant XFM darling of a track – which provides a backbone for the calamitous humour created by the band on stage.
The set was dotted with stories about the group and how it came to be they ended up in Southampton on a cooling Sunday night. Their rendition of ‘There is a Light and It Never Goes Out’ needed no explaining however. It was the finale of a calming moment within the storm. Alone with just his guitar and audience Rylance battered through ‘Something to Leave the House For’ – a raw, honest track which once again proves the real talent lying at the crux of the singer.
Perhaps most exciting from the quartet was new single ‘Beauty Queen’. It’s a straight-up piece of pure pop magic that although tried before, feels refreshingly new. There’s a real urgency below the Viola Beach guitars that decorate the track with an excited brashness last heard within the opening phrases of ‘What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?’.
They tell us a record deal has been signed with a label in LA. Let’s hope so. They deserve their break. It’s about time they were allowed to live up to their name.
Words by Clive Hammond


FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]
NOT SINCE Sigur Rós landed in 1997 with their maiden release ‘Von’, has a debut album created such an anthemic buzz that every shard of the body quakes in sorrow, ectascy and electricity. And within minutes of London trio Mt Wolf’s ‘Aetherlight’ the very nature of the listener’s spirituality and existence is bought to question. […]
FOR quarter of a century, Newport alternative rockers Feeder have adorned playlist after playlist collated by exasperated teenagers, angry at something that they don’t really understand. Their songs have continually found relevance across generations of fans with the likes of smash hit ‘Buck Rodgers’ and ‘Just the Way I’m Feeling’ firm favourites, whether it be […]
IT’S been three-years since alternative outfit Happyness became our favourite dejected youngsters with 2014’s ‘Weird Little Sister’, and now as the Londoners return with ‘In Write’ the adolescent euphoria has become mature beauty. Whereas previously Happyness were about dysfunctional lyrics and sobering melodies, the space now filled by the trio represents something closer to the […]
With a career spanning four decades and 17 albums, The Stranglers, punk rock’s great survivors, show no sign of letting up any time soon. Rarely taking a break from touring The Stranglers have been a regular feature at Southampton’s Guildhall in recent years. Despite it being a Monday night the place was packed and the […]
NEW York is synonymous with musical duos. Throughout the history of the state, there is a rich vein that constantly pumps out and supplies every corner, genre and listener with something identifiable and emancipating. Simon & Garfunkel providing disconsolate lovers with a soundtrack of regret, the fronting up beats of east-side hip hop outfit Mobb […]