The Lottery Winners are not just a great indie pop band but are one of the most entertaining bands to see live; A masterclass in how to engage a crowd with genuinely hilarious banter from frontman Thom Rylance, and plenty of time in the limelight for the other musicians, Kate Lloyd (bass/vocals), Robert Lally (guitar/vocals) and Joe Singleton (drums). The band are from Leigh in Wigan, UK, with their northern-England friendliness evident throughout. Tonight’s show was at The Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth, UK, hometown of their manager Tristan Ivemy, who joined them on guitar later in the show.
The band walked on to “Delilah” by Tom Jones, and the crowd were singing along and swaying arms in the air, which didn’t stop for almost the entire 13 songs. Opening with “Headlock”, “That’s Not Entertainment” and “Little Things” from their self-titled 2020 album. We were then treated to four songs from their latest superb album, Something To Leave The House For. First up was “Favourite Flavour”, a great example of Thom’s lyrical genius in this fun bop. The band were performing some songs with a quartet of well-known Portsmouth-based singers (Amba Tremain, Leonie Gale, Olivia Haggarty and Faye Carpenter), who became known as Thom’s ‘Favourite Flavours’ during one of his many ad libs during the show. Next up was “Sunshine” for which Kate provided her beautiful delicate lead vocals. Thom was quick to comically remind us at that he wrote the song, so “80% of those claps are mine”.
There’s plenty of comedy and self-deprecating modesty in Thom’s banter, “This is mental, what are you all doing here” to the sell-out audience. But this is an incredibly talented band with an array of catchy, clever, entertaining songs. Their ability on display as Thom asked the crowd to name any song for the band to play. “Angels” by Robbie Williams was suggested, and the full song was then played with Rob taking centre stage on vocals, as if this were a well-rehearsed cover. Very impressive indeed. Typically, Thom then said “How are we going to play our piddly little songs after that”.
Thom was genuine and heartfelt as he described our shared difficulties during lockdown, how great it was to be back in venues sharing music and thanked the crowd, saying they “Don’t take any of this for granted”. The last song before they briefly left the stage was “Start Again”, the crowd singing along, almost drowning out the band, as Thom was overcome with gratitude and joy, a tear in his eye and his voice initially faltering with emotion. A special shared moment between band and audience.
For the encore, they came back on stage without drummer Joe, to perform the first song they wrote, 13 years ago, as the then 3-piece band, “Emerald City”, in part a cappella, before mixing into “Caravan of Love”. The final song, “21”, a fitting end to the show, the entire audience singing along with the chorus, and the lyrics “I don’t wanna go home”. Catch this band live, and you can’t fail to have a good time. Catchy tunes and great humour, what’s not to love.
Support came from the brilliant local musician Jerry Williams. Thom said they should release a duet, with a new band name, Thom and Jerry, referencing the famous kids’ cartoon duo. Jerry delivered an enchanting solo performance, full of life and showing her great songwriting, vocal and guitar skills.