Lamb in concert, January 2012
|Also known as||Lamb Retretes|
|Genres||Electronica, trip hop, breakbeat, drum and bass|
|Years active||1996–2004, 2009–present|
|Labels||Strata Music, Mercury Records, Koch Records|
|Website||Official band website|
Lamb is an electronic music duo from Manchester, England, whose music is influenced by trip hop, drum and bass and jazz. The duo consists of producer Andy Barlow, who also produces under the pseudonym Hipoptimist, and singer-songwriter Lou Rhodes. They achieved commercial success with two hit singles "Górecki" and "Gabriel".
Lamb's core members were Barlow and Rhodes, although the band subsequently expanded to include bassist Jon Thorne, Icelandic guitarist Oddur Mar Runnarson, and Danish drummer Nikolaj Bjerre. London-based string trio Chi 2 Strings and trumpet player Kevin Davy were frequent guest musicians.
They released their first album, the self-titled Lamb in September 1996, and followed this up with another three albums and a cache of singles over the next eight years, culminating in the release of a greatest hits album, Best Kept Secrets, in June 2004. While they seemed destined for stardom, it seemed to evade them and during the early 2000s they lost momentum and played live only sporadically. Still, a 2004 tour produced memorable shows, according to the British press. Lamb performed what was billed as their final live appearance at the Paradiso in Amsterdam in September 2004 and after their 2003 album Between Darkness and Wonder both went solo. Rhodes left the music world briefly for a commune, and in 2006 released her first solo album.
Although getting their start in Manchester, Lamb are more commonly associated with the Bristol-based trip hop sound that was popular during the 1990s. Aside from trip hop, their musical style is a distinctive mixture of jazz, dub, breaks and drum and bass, with a strong vocal element and, in their later works especially, some acoustic influences. While they were a hit phenomenon in the UK, they found limited success in other parts of the world, despite securing distribution. Portugal was an exception, however; the band achieved crossover success there, including one major number one hit with "Gabriel," the lead single from 2001's What Sound.
The band produces experimental work with a distinctive production style, which includes passionate lyrical delivery. Their artistic videos draw on influences ranging from Cyberpunk through George Lucas' THX 1138 to Zen Buddhism.
By far their best-known track to date is "Górecki", from their eponymous debut album. The song is inspired by Henryk Górecki's Third Symphony, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Part of the lyrics to "Górecki" were used by Baz Luhrmann for some of Satine's lines in Moulin Rouge!. The song was used in an advertisement for Guinness and an advertisement for the Tomb Raider: Underworld video game. It was also featured on the soundtrack of the 1998 Hollywood film "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer". The 2004 DVD The Fall & Rise of the Fools Ark, a roadmovie by Dutch duo Dadara and Jesse for which Lamb provided the music, is an animated roadmovie in the style of Monty Python and Yellow Submarine.
During the band's hiatus, both were working on a variety of solo projects. Rhodes released her Mercury-nominated debut solo album Beloved One on her own label Infinite Bloom in 2006. This was followed by Bloom in 2008 and One Good Thing in 2010.
Barlow worked on various projects including: "Hoof" (together with Oddur Runasson, among others, who also appeared on Rhodes' solo debut) and "Luna Seeds" with vocalist–songwriter Carrie Tree. He also produced the Fink album Distance and Time. In 2011, Barlow released his first solo album as LOWB with debut album Leap and the Net will Appear issued as a limited released on Barlow's own label, Ear Parcel Recordings.
In February 2009, the organisers of The Big Chill music festival announced that Lamb would be re-forming to perform at the August 2009 event. The band subsequently announced two further appearances, at Cactus Festival and Beautiful Days Festival, and also played the Glastonbury festival and made appearances at festivals in Porto, Portugal and Prague, Czech Republic, among others. At the time, no announcement was made as to whether the band would be releasing new material, or whether the festival tour was going to be a one-off.
Later in 2009, the band announced concert dates for 2010 as well. During one of those shows, on 3 January 2010 at The Tivoli in Brisbane Australia (the 32nd gig out of an initially planned 7), Andy Barlow stated that it would be their "last gig ever, but who knows". Barlow later followed up on Lambs Facebook fan page on 7 January, "I have a strong feeling that there will be more Lamb shows, It doesn't seem like it has reached its finale just yet".
In December 2010, the band sent another e-mail to fans, announcing the recording of their fifth album, to be titled 5. A selection of songs from the album were previewed at Playground Weekender music festival near Sydney on 20 February 2011. A special edition of the album, hand-numbered and limited to 2800 copies, could be pre-ordered through Lamb's website and was shipped to fans in May 2011, followed by the commercial release of the standard edition on 9 June in the UK. Other European countries saw slightly later release dates. '5' was released on label Strata Music.
We want to express our deepest gratitude to those of you who pre-ordered the album and, in so doing, helped make it happen. As you all know, the whole process has been, and continues to be, a self-funded operation with no record company involved and it feels so awesomely positive to have the support come from the people who'll be its audience—lambofficial
In 2011, the band also released their first live album Live at Koko (Strata Music) as well as the long-awaited DVD Lamb Live at the Paradiso (Strata Music) recorded at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, in September 2004.
The band started a European tour to promote the new album on 19 May in Kiev, and played further concerts and festivals throughout 2011 including a performance at London's prestigious Somerset House. In January 2012 the band started a new European tour which concluded in Paris on 18 February.
In November 2013, the band announced in a post on their Facebook page that they had started work on their 6th studio album.
Alongside touring, Rhodes and Barlow continued to work on solo projects.
Rhodes has released three solo albums; The mercury nominated "Beloved One" (2006), "Bloom" (2007) and "One Good Thing" (2010). She is currently putting the finishing touches on a fourth album to be released early 2014.
In 2013 Barlow's debut solo album as LOWB, Leap and the Net Will Appear was re-released on a new label, Distiller Records, with additional tracks and new artwork. In May 2013 LOWB appeared live on BBC2 Radio's Dermot O'Leary show and played a live band show at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Andy also continued to work as a producer, working with The Ramona Flowers on their new album (2013 release) and, most recently, with David Gray on his upcoming album.
Lou branched out too becoming a published author with her children's picture book 'The Phlunk' (2012 Strata Books). The follow-up 'The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony' will be published in May 2014.
- 1996 Lamb (Fontana Records)
- 1999 Fear of Fours (Polygram Records)
- 2001 What Sound (Koch Records)
- 2003 Between Darkness and Wonder (Koch Records)
- 2011 5 (Strata Music)
- BEL #55
- 2004 Best Kept Secrets: The Best of Lamb 1996-2004 (Universal Records)
- 2005 Lamb Remixed (Mercury/Universal Records)
- 2011 Live at Koko Strata Music
- 1996 "Cotton Wool"
- 1996 "Gold"
- UK #132
- 1996 "God Bless"
- UK #92
- 1997 "Górecki"
- UK #30
from Fear of Fours
from What Sound
from Between Darkness and Wonder
- 2004 "Wonder"
- UK #81
- 2011 "Build a Fire"
- 2012 "Butterfly Effect"
- 2004 The Fall & Rise of the Fools Ark (with Dadara and Jesse)
- 2011 "Live at the Paradiso" (recorded 2004) Strata Music
- Flynn, Bob (9 February 2004). "Lamb Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow". The Independent. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- This performance was filmed for the DVD 'Live at the Paradiso' released in 2011.
- Wehner, Cyclone (12 April 2007). "The Hippie Shake: Bohemian Lou Rhodes Leaves Lamb on the Rack". Herald Sun. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- Official Lowb website
- Big Chill features
- Official Facebook Fan Page
- label website
- Live at Koko – Strata Music
- Live at the Paradiso at Amazon UK
- Songkick tourdates
- LOWB Amazon UK page
- LOWB management website
- Ramona Flowers website
- Clip from Dermot O'Leary show featuring LOWB
- The Phlunk at Strata Books
- The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony at Strata Books
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 311. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- ChartArchive.org – Lamb(Link redirected to OCC website)
- ultratop.be – Lamb – Fear Of Fours
- ultratop.be – Lamb – What Sound
- Lamb : Longplay-Chartverfolgung. Musicline.de
- ultratop.be – Lamb – Between Darkness And Wonder
- ultratop.be – Lamb – 5
- ultratop.be – Lamb – Best Kept Secrets – The Best Of Lamb 1996–2004
- Hits of the World. Billboard. 18 May 2002. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 15 September 2012.