Hotel Lux at Rough Trade

Well this was a surprise. Another band that has changed considerably from their pre-lockdown version. At the end of 2019, I thought Hotel Lux were ‘bubbling under’, with a few good support slots, I expected them to have a strong 2020. I also expected them to release their debut album. Obviously, 2020 was not normal and for many bands, the gap forced lineup changes or for them to develop a new sound. The Hotel Lux album I was expecting in 2020 was not the album they released this week. This is a band that has seen considerable change with a new lineup and a different sound.

Frontman Lewis Duffin continues with with his shouting / talking his way through songs. But this new Bill Ryder-Jones produced album has lost the edginess of their early stuff. The addition of an extra guitar and organs has produced a much more rounded and probably more mainstream sound. They even have an acoustic song. It is hard to tell how much influence Bill had over this new sound as we haven’t had the opportunity to hear the songs live. These songs are a departure from their earlier stuff. Tonight they played songs from their album. For me, I preferred their earlier material. That isn’t to say these new songs aren’t enjoyable. I enjoyed the gig. It was just a bit too much of a surprise to spring on me.