Hey Sam, thanks for taking part in the Miss Writer series for In Your Ears Music… we will start with an introduction
I’m Sam Lambeth. I spend my days listening and playing music! I love melody so I’m always trying to create music that is catchy and memorable.
I’m influenced by acts such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Neil Young. The greats!
You were in bands for the last 10 years – how did you find that experience and what were your highlights from those days?
Within six months of being in my first band The MonoBloggers, I signed a record deal, was in NME Magazine and had had our debut EP produced by the legendary Gavin Monaghan. I felt like a king when I was walking around the sixth form common room…and then someone probably gave me a nurple and brought me back down to earth!
Going on tour with The Lemonheads and The Bluetones, respectively, was an amazing experience. Getting my first piece in the local newspaper was wonderful, too. We were only 17, 18, and these little moments felt like great strides to a wonderful future.
Playing with The Twang, We Are Scientists and Little Comets was cool. Gigging in London felt like we’d made it!
Playing in front of 25,000 people at the molineux, the home of football, was another brilliant sensation.
In my second band, Quinn, receiving airplay on BBC Radio One was something I’ll never forget. Hearing myself on the radio still feels unreal. Even in the age of playlists, there’s something magical about hearing your song on the radio.
In fact, I remember the first time I ever got played on the radio. We had to stay up until late on a school night, but the DJs were heaping praise on the artists they played so we were eager to hear what they said about us. When they played us at around 11pm, the DJ just went “cor…that was a bloody long track wasn’t it” !!!
But all in all I’ve been so lucky. Answering this question just reinforces that!
You say that you felt that your career in music had run its course and then lockdown happened, how did you come to the decision to start releasing music again?
I never stopped writing, and in January 2020, after six months of silence, I began to warm to the idea of dipping my toe back in. I had a collection of songs I liked that seemed quite cohesive.
I wasn’t too sure what form it would take, or how long, but I was certainly chewing on the idea.
Anyway, in March, the world stopped. For me, it gave me so much time that I was able to work on the songs slowly. It was great fun. Every day I’d be adding bass lines, working on lead guitar, learning the mandolin…I felt so energised and excited that I couldn’t wait to book studio time.
So I would say, in a weird way, the pandemic prompted me – I doubt I’d have made my record as quickly and as competently as I have done!
Your album ‘Love & Exile’ is out on Friday 28th May – what was the inspiration behind the album?
I wanted to keep the themes fairly broad and universal, but also keep to concepts important to me. Now I’m getting a bit older, time seems to go so fast. I’m always conscious of how short a time we get, so that definitely fuelled my writing. Friendships, both the endurance and end of, plays a big part too. Again, getting older, sometimes you drift apart from people and again that inspired me.
It’s an album that deals with mortality, religion, time and love. Hopefully people will find resonance in it…and I promise it isn’t as bleak as I’m making out!
Sam Lambeth & The Endangered Species is a limited edition CD which are hand drawn – tell us about the CD and why is WWF so important to you?
CD compilations such as Brits & Pieces and Voices in the Dark showed me that CDs are still a viable format. I did want to have vinyl produced, but it was a bit too expensive on my own.
I wanted to produce some physical content, but with a difference. I’ve been very fortunate in my life insofar as I’ve been given a lot of good karma and health, so I’m always trying to give a bit back.
Doing the CDs with hand drawn covers was a way to do something fun and unique, that not only gets my music out there, but makes a positive difference.
I’m an animal lover so WWF has always been important to me. I think as humans we should help the animal community as much as we can. Animals entrust us and look to us for help and love, but too often humans abuse that and poach, kill and endanger. I don’t want future generations to miss out on seeing these wonderful animals.
I should say a huge thank you to Karen Sunner for designing the covers! She’s on Instagram @ksunner.draws – check her out! A huge thank you to everybody that has bought a copy so far…such lovely support!
Twitter gets a bad name often, for lots of different reasons, but this last 12 months, its really been a great platform for musicians to get their music out – would you say that social media has been a good tool for you personally? How did you find about this new music scene that’s emerged?
Without social media, I wouldn’t have anything, I firmly believe that. The past six months have been amazing and I wouldn’t have had that without peoples’ support! I’m honestly so humbled and blown away by the kindness of generosity of people like yourself and many others. I thank my lucky stars, believe me!
I found out just by doing my homework, following people, listening to playlists and shows…as I went along I’d just reach out to people and tell them I liked what they were doing. I built up some nice friendships and the more I’ve explored, the more I’ve found!
The #IndieDisco certainly helped me meet some likeminded fans and was a big catalyst for me meeting people like Dan Potter, Ady Hanson, Moby Tanner, David from Raw Radio and more.
Blogs like Talk Tonight, Our Sound, ListenUp and Happy People have been very good to me from day one.
I’ve also been very fortunate to enjoy the #murderedsongoftheday guys and their covers, and they’re lovely guys who are a pleasure to know.
If you were to play a festival, which three other ‘under the radar’ acts would you pick to be on the bill and why?
Oh no, I’m terrible with these questions! How can I choose just three artists from the amazing people I’ve got to hear over the past few months? This is gonna be the hardest question going!
I’ve gotta sat our Jay Tennant. Lovely guy, cool sound, always having a kind word. He’s a pleasure to know.
I really enjoy the music of Ripperz, too. Melodic, powerful and heart-warming. He’s a great guy too.
Finally, I’ll go for our Jen Dixon. She’s got a fantastic voice and she’s only going to get better.
But truly I could pick anyone and everyone! How lucky are we all to be exposed to so many great bands and artists? We’ve been blessed!
What does the rest of 2021 have in store for you?
I’ve got a lot of gigs booked so I’m really excited to get out there. I’m performing with The Bluetones’ Mark Morriss twice, once in Birmingham and once at Wyre Forest, so that’ll be wonderful.
My headline gig takes place on Friday 16th July in Birmingham and that is sold out, so what an evening that’ll be.
Then there’s some tentative gigs in place but nothing I can confirm at the moment, sadly! I really hope to gig all over the country if I’m wanted, so any promoters or venues that want me, I’m here and ready!
I’ve also got a great gig in November with Vela Incident, Lossline and Bridges. Thank you ListenUp for asking me. I can’t wait!
Watch out for Sam’s album release on Friday 28th May – Love & Exile
Follow the music at:
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @samlambethmusic