We’re barely thirty seconds into The Lathums’ headline set at North London’s Kentish Town Forum when the first chants of “UK’s number one” erupt, providing the loudest of reminders about where the Wigan band’s debut album currently sits in the album charts.
Not that anyone here tonight needs reminding, mind. It’s thanks to the fevered following of fans like these that The Lathums have enjoyed a fairytale rise from the minute they formed in Greater Manchester only two years ago.
Lockdown did little to stop their rise either – with gigs and festivals opening up again just in time for their procession of ready-made indie-pop anthems to be rolled out to fun-starved punters in search of good times.
Now, basking in the almighty glow of that number one, it feels like a sense of perfect timing has led them to here, their biggest headline show at the very moment their star is at its brightest.
Still, you sense that the band are still trying to make sense of it all. They look sheepish upon arrival, struggling to take in the unbridled passion of those terrace-style chants that remind them of where exactly they’re sitting in the charts.
But once they kick in, the atmosphere for standout album tracks like ‘Fight On’ and ‘The Great Escape’ proves electric – with the crowd transforming them into anthems that belong to all rather than just the band.
Indeed, an incendiary rendition of the emotional ‘All My Life’ sees frontman Alex Moore imploring the crowd to “take it, it’s yours” – leaving the crowd to finish off one of the night’s most stunning moments.
“That’s the closest I’ve come to crying for two years” Moore grins afterwards, safe in the knowledge that the crowd are lapping up his every word.
While The Lathums might not be re-inventing the wheel with their jangly indie pop, they’ve instead taken that wheel and given it a much needed spray of WD-40 – ready to be handed to a crowd who are desperate for a night of solid indie anthems performed without snark or sneer.
And make no mistake, this is a band that have plenty of those up their sleeves, allowing the night to becoming the sort of show that forges a sense of community among friends who are desperate to dance, pints firmly aloft, after being robbed of that opportunity over the last eighteen months.
And as things draw to a close, a promised “rock and roll ending” provides the perfect ending, with guitarist Scott Concepcion offering up an unashamedly Queen-esque guitar solo on the sprawling ‘Redemption of Sonic Beauty’ as gold glitter rains down.
It’s yet to be established where The Lathums go from here, but for now that doesn’t matter. For tonight, you just sense they’re only too happy to bask in that victory lap and share it with the fans who got them there in the first place. Long may it continue.