Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lou Rhodes @ Rise Records, Bristol - Friday July 22nd 2016

No proper gigs for months...well, days if you count Lets Rock Exeter but that’s a festival so that’s different ...and along come two in one evening. After a day spent wandering the streets of Bristol in the heat, pausing just for a restorative cider or three, we’d intended to chill out back at the hotel before the Thatchers Haze Sesh but happened to wander past Rise Records just an hour or so before Lamb vocalist Lou Rhodes was due to do a tasty little in-store album launch set. Well it’d be rude to miss that right? Dashed back to the hotel to pick up the Haze Sessions tickets, hot footed it (literally) back up to Rise via The Cider Shop for a two pint take out and got there with, oooooh, a good 60 seconds to spare. Easy. Ahem.

If you’re under 30 the chances are that you might not be familiar with Lamb but for a brief moment back in the late 90s they were one of a number of top notch Bristol based trip hop groups (see also Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky) producing chilled out atmospheric tracks that somehow seemed to chime particularly well with the PMT (that’s Pre Millennial Times). 

Whilst Lamb’s still a going concern (they reformed back in 2009 after a five year break) Lou’s now got a sideline as an author of children’s books and a solo career to keep her busy, the latest product of which is new album theyesandeye. It’s an altogether folkier vibe than her work with Lamb and this post work set saw a handful of tracks performed including the simply divine homage to the simple things in life, All I Need and dreamy Nick Drake-ish All The Birds. Backed by a particularly talented pair of musicians (who played drums, keyboards, a harp and a saw...yep...a saw, not enough saws in pop music these days) Lou gently lulled away the stresses and strains of modern life a mere few feet away from the bustling Bristol streets. Shut your eyes and you could’ve been in a field somewhere under a tree. Beautiful stuff. 

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