King City Online ©
Sam Lambeth always knew he’d return to ‘Nod My Head’. After all, it has been on his mind – and in his head – for years.
It was one of the earliest songs he ever wrote and the first one he ever showed his band, The MonoBloggers, at their initial rehearsal. They laid down the demo in their drummer’s attic and it was the first song they showed super-producer Gavin Monaghan when they worked with him on their debut EP.
It was the song Lambeth chose to perform when he auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. That same year, when he was invited to sing in front of 25,000 football fans at Wolves’ Molineux Stadium, you can guess what song he decided to perform.
In 2020, Lambeth assembled a live band called The Four Chords, consisting of Cal Pascoe (bass), Zoe Brittle (keyboards), Sam Hunt (drums) and Bas (guitar). When plumbing through his back catalogue for live material, he once again looked to ‘Nod My Head’ and decided it was not only time to once again dust it off, but to give it the treatment he’d always wanted.
“I’ve always believed ‘Nod My Head’ to be my catchiest and most immediate song,” Lambeth says.
“But when we recorded it back in 2009, we played it like a typical group of teenagers – fast, loose and fuzzy. It sounds good but it was never how I wanted it, and as I was naïve and inexperienced then, I didn’t know how to fully promote it either.
“Playing with The Four Chords has been amazing. They are so incredibly talented, and I knew that these guys would be able to bring my vision to life…and then some!”
The result is potential, realised. ‘Nod My Head’ now sounds how Lambeth imagined it when he penned it 15 years ago.
Combining the acoustic creativity of Paul Simon, the stirring soulful vocals of Van Morrison, the upbeat vintage rock of the Faces and the multi-instrumentalism of The Band, ‘Nod My Head’ is a stomping, bittersweet doo-wop rocker with a classicist touch.
Musically, it is a fine continuation from Lambeth’s acclaimed 2021 EP, Love & Exile. However, where that record was reflective and pensive, ‘Nod My Head’ is filled with fun, every second a catchy and uplifting slice of summery introspection.
Recorded with local legend Ryan Pinson (God Damn, The Assist), who was also behind the controls for Love & Exile, ‘Nod My Head’ is a rich listening experience, Lambeth once again applying his skills on the mandolin and harmonica, as well as showcasing a strong rasp on the vocals.
‘Nod My Head’ deals with the transition from adolescence to adulthood, going through childhood scrapes and revealing personal difficulties (“I had no Dad who would teach me how to fight”) and how all of us can find that escape in music (“but that radio dial still makes me smile”).
With more music coming in 2022, Lambeth is looking forward to another fulfilling year in music. One of the biggest events for him will be another headliner, with Lambeth and the Four Chords once again performing at Deadwax in Birmingham on Friday 18 March.
“The last headline gig we did there, in July 2021, is still my favourite ever gig. Everything just went perfectly and it was a sell out,” Lambeth beams.
“However, I’m hoping this one will top it. It’s going to be a victory lap for Love & Exile, a chance to celebrate old songs and an opportunity to look to the future. I guess ‘Nod My Head’ falls between the latter two”.
Sam’s really found his groove with this one and we predict good times ahead for both him and his many fans.