Gig Review: The Lottery Winners at Rescue Rooms

Words: Maddie Dinnage
Photos: Rae Dowling
Thursday 04 May 2023
reading time: min, words

Maddie Dinnage took a trip to Rescue Rooms to see The Lottery Winners...


Indie-pop quartet The Lottery Winners took to the stage in Nottingham’s own Rescue Rooms as part of their UK headliner tour. Embarking on a race for a UK number one, the band performed tracks from their latest full-length release Anxiety Replacement Therapy and some much-loved original hits. Known best for their infectious melodies and vibrant stage presence, The Lottery Winners injected the sold-out venue with a punchy dose of serotonin.

Spiky punk rockers Pet Needs stoked the coals with a fiery opening set, as frontman Johnny Marriott dominated the stage with an energy that left him breathless. The four-piece from Colchester unleashed their zany spirit upon their room of listeners, performing self-proclaimed anti-anthems such as Tracy Emin’s Bed. Most refreshing to behold was their true passion for performance, with Johnny admitting that Nottingham was the band’s favourite city to play in. Armed with a fire-cracker personality, and a setlist guaranteed to get any crowd moving, Pet Needs left the stage having achieved exactly what they had set out to do; consider the crowd well-and-truly warmed up.


By the time The Lottery Winners took the stage, the venue was brimming with a mixed bag of music lovers. It quickly became clear that the indie-pop band made songs that very few could resist, with people of all ages congregating to revel in a shared love for great music, with some fans even sporting the band’s signature daisy sunnies.

The band kicked things off with Worry, a funky and addictive tune that inspired immediate energy in the crowd’s heart, hooking listeners with an infectious keyboard melody. They appeased fans by dusting off some old favourites from their 2020 debut album, including the smash-hit track The Meaning of Life. The back-and-forth vocals between frontman Thom Rylance and bassist Kate Lloyd seemed to melt together like butter, making way for the technical mastery of guitarist Rob Lalley, and heart-and-soul drummer Joe Singleton.

In another life, lead vocalist Thom would have a blinding career as a stand-up comedian. His easy humour was enough to win fans over, bringing out a whole canvas and easel set-up onstage, painting the band’s trademark daisy to be won by a fan later on in the night. A unique sight to behold, though it’s probably safe to say that Thom is unlikely to embark on a successful career as a painter any time soon. Meanwhile, bassist Kate took hold of the reigns in a performance of 85 Trips, supplying fans with soft, siren-esque vocals.


The Lottery Winners are a testament to the grit and determination which arises from working-class roots, with frontman Thom inciting passion among those who have been overlooked or underestimated due to their origin by saying “it’s time for the working class musicians to come through.” He poked fun at a long tradition of those he dubs “nepotism babies” dominating the UK album charts, as the band continue to graft for a well-deserved top spot. “I want to wake up, come downstairs, look in the mirror, and stare at my smug, non-nepo, working-class, son-of-a-joiner face when we reach number one in the album charts,” he declared.

The crowd fell into an easy pattern of call and response during a delicious performance of Favourite Flavour, before winding down for a touching tribute to legendary music executive Seymour Stein. In light of his recent passing, the band dedicated a stripped-back, acoustic rendition of Overthink Everything to the man who started it all, as Stein was responsible for launching the careers of musical legends such as Madonna and The Ramones, and, more recently, The Lottery Winners. The room transitioned into a seascape of glittering flashlights, as the band encouraged fans to “light up Nottingham for Seymour Stein.”


Through a performance of Letter to Myself, frontman Thom gave an earnest and humble insight into his inner child, journeying back in time through music to tell a young boy, who didn’t seem to fit in anywhere, that it was going to be okay. The singer addressed fans with unwavering honesty, serving as a reminder of our collective vulnerability. The song seemed to speak to the child which exists within all of us.

The success of The Lottery Winners is by no means a product of sheer luck, as their name may suggest, but born from hard work, and a long history of working-class voices and experiences. In a live setting, the band seethe with musical passion, while their tight-knit bond results in the effortless transfusion of their individual and collective talents. The band are currently scaling the steep incline to a UK number one album, as Anxiety Replacement Therapy features collaborations with legends such as Boy George, Shaun Ryder, and Frank Turner. Should they reach the top, their record would be the first independent release to do so since January. The Lottery Winners are set to continue their headline tour across the UK, with an upcoming appearance at Glastonbury this summer.

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