Words: Joe Parry

Having released arguably one of the most powerful debut albums of 2011 in Gracious Tide, Take Me Home, Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Lanterns On The Lake had plenty to prove at their sold out Lexington show.

Beginning with the enchanting album opener ‘Lungs Quicken’, the band demonstrated perfectly in just one song what they are truly capable of, in a track which feels both intimate and grandiose in the same breath. Dashing any notions of the term ‘twee’, the track was drawn out to unexpectedly epic crescendo before bleeding into the comforting warmth of ‘If I’ve Been Unkind’.

Listening to the band on record, it is easy to forget the sheer musicality involved in a band like Lanterns on the Lake. In the live setting, they make this very clear, with only the violinist sticking to one instrument throughout the set. Members of the seven-piece at times looked unsure of their own prowess, but the sound and dynamics were near faultless on this performance.

Singer Hazel Wilde’s delicate, breathy approach glides effortlessly over each track, particularly on the vulnerable and introspective ‘Ships in the Rain’. Though sometimes shaky, second vocalist Adam Sykes added another unguarded texture to the music, further emphasising the bands’ impassioned and immersive sound. Though they made no attempt to disguise their love of creating powerful, skyscraping bursts, the true beauty of their music became most apparent when the entire audience remained completely silent in the more serene moments of their set, hanging on each and every breathtaking subtlety. The more lively moments in came from single 'A Kingdom' which bounced merrily, bridging the gap perfectly between the more intense elements of the set and displaying a different ambience to tracks such as the soaring 'Keep On Trying'.

Lanterns On The Lake are perhaps one of the most unassuming new bands in the UK and seem genuinely surprised and humbled to be playing to a full venue in London. Before starting encore track ‘Not Going Back To The Harbour’, Hazel announced meekly, “We did that thing that proper bands do where they say they’re finished but then come back on stage again.” Despite her modesty, after tonight’s performance there’s no doubt that Lanterns On The Lake are a proper band and certainly not one to overlook.