Darwen, a small market town of around 30,000 residents, so a little under half the size of Shrewsbury where our shop is sited, sits 5 miles south of Blackburn, Lancashire. On Bank Holiday Monday May 27th 2013, The Wonder Stuff played on a makeshift, ramshackle stage sited in the Main Square in the pissing rain at the Darwen Live free festival. Also on the bill at the festival that day were a band from Leigh, Greater Manchester who my brother Miles wandered off to see. And that’s how we discovered The Lottery Winners.
Now right up front I want to assure you I really like the Lottery Winners. They are a supremely wonderful live band, Thom Rylance is as good a frontman as you'll find anywhere, part Noddy Holder (without THAT voice), part stand up comedian. I’ve bought their records, seen uncountable live shows and toured with them. But I am gonna start with a whinge. I have opening song, “The Meaning Of Life”, on the EP it was originally released on in 2016 and compared to that, the version they chose as track 1 side 1 on their debut album is a reet dogs breakfast. I don’t know who chose to re-arrange it and change the lyrics, whether it was the band or producer Tristan Ivemy, but whoever it was, it didn’t need it.
Fortunately tracks 2, 3 and 4 on side 1 are all perfect pop beauties that make up for that first aberration. “Little Things”, “21” and “I Don’t Love You” are bloody fantastic pop tunes, the kind you want to hear at a gig while you’re right down the front bouncing up and down and screaming along to the chorus. Over on Side 2 the “Elizabeth” and “I Know” (it becomes the perfect audience participation song live) continue with the bangers.
And that’s the thing about the Lottery Winners, whether on record or live, they grab your attention, the melodies are infectious, they make you want to bounce and sing along. You’ll not find the meaning of life (boom-boom) or any great earth shattering statements in here. What you will find is bloody wonderful pop music. If that’s the sort of thing you like and you’ve not partaken yet…what the hell are you waiting for ?
Little Things - https://youtu.be/-psEJCGrkIc?si=O5-_kvCBjKGzFrNy