Lamb is an electronic music duo from Manchester, England, whose music is influenced by trip hop and drum and bass. The duo consists of producer Andy Barlow, who also produces under the pseudonym Hipoptimist, and singer-songwriter Lou Rhodes. They achieved commercial success with two hit singles "Gorecki" and "Gabriel".
Lamb's core members were Barlow and Rhodes, although the band subsequently expanded to include bassist Jon Thorne, Icelandic guitarist Oddur Mar Runnarson, and Danish drummer Nikolaj Bjerre. London-based string trio Chi 2 Strings and trumpet player Kevin Davy were frequent guest musicians.
They released their first album, the self-titled Lamb in September 1996, and followed this up with another three albums and a cache of singles over the next eight years, culminating in the release of a greatest hits album, Best Kept Secrets, in June 2004. While they seemed destined for stardom, it seemed to evade them and during the early 2000s they lost momentum and played live only sporadically. Still, a 2004 tour produced memorable shows, according to the British press. Lamb performed what was billed as their final live appearance at the Paradiso in Amsterdam in September 2004. Their 2003 album Between Darkness and Wonder proved to be their last studio album; the duo had always been "combustible," and both went solo. Rhodes left the music world briefly for a commune, and in 2006 released her first solo album.
Although getting their start in Manchester, Lamb are more commonly associated with the Bristol-based trip hop sound that was popular during the nineties. Aside from trip hop, their musical style is a distinctive mixture of jazz, dub, breaks and drum and bass, with a strong vocal element and, in their later works especially, some acoustic influences. While they were a hit phenomenon in the UK, they found limited success in other parts of the world, despite securing distribution. Portugal was an exception, however; the band achieved crossover success there, including one major number one hit with "Gabriel," the lead single from 2001's What Sound.
The band produce experimental work with a distinctive production style, which includes passionate lyrical delivery. Their artistic videos draw on influences ranging from Cyberpunk through George Lucas' THX 1138 to Zen Buddhism.
By far, their best-known track to date is "Gorecki", from their eponymous debut album. The song is inspired by Henryk G?recki's Third Symphony, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Part of the lyrics to "Gorecki" were used by Baz Luhrmann for some of Satine's lines in Moulin Rouge!. The song was used in an advertisement for Guinness and an advertisement for the Tomb Raider: Underworld video game. They have also composed for film: the 2004 DVD The Fall & Rise of the Fools Ark, a roadmovie by Dutch duo Dadara and Jesse for which Lamb provided the music, is an animated roadmovie in the style of Monty Python and Yellow Submarine.
During the band's hiatus, both have been working on a variety of solo projects. Rhodes released her debut solo album Beloved One on her own label Infinite Bloom in 2006, while Barlow has been working on a project called Hoof (together with Oddur Runasson, among others, who also appeared on Rhodes' solo debut), which has performed live a number of times but so far not released an album. Barlow has also been working on another project called "Luna Seeds" with vocalist?songwriter Carrie Tree, and has recently produced the Fink album Distance and Time.
In February 2009, the organisers of the The Big Chill music festival announced that Lamb would be re-forming to perform at the August 2009 event. The band subsequently announced two further appearances, at Cactus Festival and Beautiful Days Festival. No announcement has been made as to whether the band will be releasing new material, or whether the festival tour is a one-off.
Lamb's own MySpace site is now (14 May 2009) also showing them as appearing at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival on Friday 26 June and Pohoda festival (Slovakia) on 18.7.2009, the latter did not happen, since the festival was prematurely canceled due to severe windstorm. They are also playing at "Festival Mar?s Vivas", in Porto, Portugal on 16.7.2009, along with Primal Scream and Kaiser Chiefs. They performed in Prague on July 30th, 2009. They played at Beautiful Days on August 23rd, 2009.
They are also supposed to play other European festivals.
In May 2009 an e-mail was sent out to fans informing them of the 2009 tour dates as well as plans to sometime in the year release a live CD/DVD combo recorded in 2004.