I’m pleased I took the decision to drive up to Cambridge last night, despite the sub zero temperatures, to see Lanterns on the Lake, at the Sold Out Junction 2. The 6 piece band from Newcastle took turns in playing the varied instruments, percussions, keyboards, harmonium and even using the violin bow to play the lead guitar (which seems to be a common thing now as the support for the evening, Cambridge’s Fuzzy Lights did the same thing) though there was also a proper violinist to put the a bow to a far better use and add to the whole aim of creating an atmospheric wall of sound to accompany the Hazels lovely lead vocals.
This was not only the first time I had seen the band but really heard any of their music too, though I’m sure, judging by the reaction of the audience, their favourite tunes were well received, including the song “A Kingdom” and the one song I did recognise “You’re Almost There”
I did read an earlier review where someone commented there was a lack of interaction with the audience and although tonight it was kept to a minimum or the talking was done during the applause, I’m sure this will come with time and confidence. Hazel did respond the fact someone managed to crush a plastic beer glass at just the right part of the song and later a to a spontaneous whoop from the otherwise well behaved crowd. So for me it is nice when there is some chat from the band members but it’s not always necessary, in fact I’ve been to gigs where I wish some of the artists would just shut up and sing.
At the end of their hour and twenty minute set they opted not to go through the usual routine of going off to rapturous applause only to come back for the encore, instead just quietly saying, “that was our last song and now this is the encore” ending with the acoustic “Not going back to the harbour”. The only problem with this philosophy was the audience still wanted more, though the person on lights was in tune with the band and put the house lights on the calm them down.
So yes this did appeal to my eclectic taste in music and they seemed pleased with the response of the audience to just want to sit and listen. So I’d be happy to see them again, though I suspect next time they are in Cambridge it’ll probably be on the larger main stage of The Junction, so check them out now in the smaller venue.