The Lathums on Supporting Gerry Cinnamon and Playing Brixton Academy

11 Feb 2020

Think of Wigan and what comes to mind? Is Richard Ashcroft’s diamond-cut cheekbones? Maybe you’ve got fond memories of stuffing yourself silly with Uncle Joe’s vegan-friendly Mint Balls. Perhaps your mum and dad got hot and sweaty at a Lucozade-fuelled Northern Soul all-nighter way back when the working week was just three days long.

Local lads The Lathums are looking to change all that. Heavily indebted to the likes of Jake Bugg and Lancastrian lynchpins of all things melodically melancholy, The Smiths, early singles like “I Know That Much”, “Crying Out”, and “This Place O’ Yours” have already seen the band pick up a pair of high-profile fans.

Fresh out of high school, the spritely quartet formed at TMP College, a further education institution that gives the area’s music-mad youngsters a chance to find their voice. A curricularly-enforced focus on the creative possibilities that come with collaboration saw each of the band’s members flitting from one rehearsal room project to another.

“Eventually me, Scott, and Ryan got put into a band with another lad and it went from there,” recalls Alex Moore, the group’s frontman. “We enjoyed the experience so thought we might as well making something out of it. This was all in early 2017, or maybe it was late 2017. Not long ago at all, either way. Since then, everything seems to have happened in one go.”

‘Everything’ includes making a mark in London thanks to two nights supporting singer-songwriter Gerry Cinnamon - Glasgow’s biggest home-grown hero since Kenny Dalglish was banging them in for Celtic - at the much-loved Brixton Academy as part of the Scottish superstar’s recent UK tour. Not bad for a group of young lads who played their first gig at a hen-do in the tiny West Lancashire town of Lathom.

Unsurprisingly 19 year old Alex describes that experience as “utterly surreal. We used to rehearse in a Wigan pub called the Tippings Arms in a function room. We'd play a gig to pay for the rent. 12 months later we're with Gerry Cinnamon.” Despite the grandiosity, and oddity, of the situation, Alex and his bandmates didn’t feel daunted by the job at hand. In fact, he says with an air of well-deserved quiet confidence, “because we'd never played anywhere like that, seeing so many people [in the crowd] felt weird. But it didn't feel any different from playing like a little venue with 300, 400 people. In fact, it felt right.”

The nod from the “Sometimes” singer wasn’t the first time that the Wigan four-piece have been on the receiving end of a crucial - and possibly career-altering - cosign from a bona fide indie big boy. In May last year Charlatans lead singer Tim Burgess slid into the Lathams’ DMs and offered them a slot at on his Tim’s Peaks stage at the esteemed Kendall Calling festival.

“We’d posted the video for our single “The Great Escape” on Twitter and it got a great reception” says Alex. “And then Tim got in touch. Which didn’t feel real at all.”

What does feel real is the band’s increasing sense of confidence. The group’s latest single “Fight On” is an elegiac and jangly number inspired, says Alex, by the anti-Nazi French Resistance movement of the Second World War.

Not the most likely source of inspiration for a few lads from up north, but Moore has a thing for the war-torn early half of the 20th century, namechecking Julia Boyd’s 2017 non-fiction bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Facism Through the Eyes of Everyday People as another point of reference. “I’m not obsessed with that period, but I’m certainly very intrigued by it,” he notes, evidently not wanting to unwittingly paint himself as battle-mad historical reenactment buff, but just a young man with a keen eye for what he describes as “interesting, powerful stories.”

With that in mind, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when asked to map out the immediate future for The Lathums, Moore’s thinking big. Very big.

“I want to take over the world. Genuinely, that's the goal. We want everybody to have heard of us, and everyone to love at least one song,” Alex tells Pretty Green by way of departure. “I want everybody to be part of it.”

Pretty Green are giving you the chance to win a pair of tickets to an exclusive live acoustic performance with The Lathums at the Pretty Green Manchester store on Friday 6th March. Apply here