Lazuli at The 1865 in Southampton

Lazuli performing on stage

One of the last gigs before the country goes on lockdown, Lazuli played to a small crowd of hardcore fans at The 1865 in Southampton. Celebrating the launch of their brand new album ‘Le Fantastique Envol de Dieter Böhm’, Lazuli have gone on a European wide tour to share their music once again. The band were lined up to play across the UK and Germany in the coming month, but unfortunately they’ve had to cancel due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With news around the world of COVID-19 spreading like wildfire, I’m glad to see that people were still coming out to support small bands in these turbulent times. With tours being cancelled left right and centre, it’s about to be a tough and unpredictable time inside the music industry. Particularly so for touring musicians that rely on live shows to keep financially afloat. This may be the last night of the tour, but they said they have enjoyed the adventure so far.

Claude Leonetti (Left), Romain Thorel (Middle), and Dominique Leonetti (Right)

Now with 9 albums out over their 22 year history, Lazuli are growing every day. With 5 players on stage, surrounded by an assortment of unique instruments, pedalboards, and style – they started the performance with a number of classic tracks for the audience in Southampton.

‘J’attends un printemps’ from Saison 8, ‘Déraille’ from ‘Tant que l’ herbe est grasse’, ‘Les sutures’, and more set the tone for the evening.

Lazuli went on to play all of their newest album in full, ‘Le fantastique envol de Dieter Bohm’.

I always enjoy hearing full album play throughs, especially when it’s a concept album. Just a shame I don’t speak any French. I find that many bands will go on tour and never play some tracks from their records as they were originally intended to be heard. It’s truly special when an artist can share the whole of their artwork with an audience in an intimate venue.

It was at this point in the evening that audience members finally started dancing to the fantastic music being performed in front of them.

Dominique Leonetti (Left) and Gédéric Byar (Right)

To finish the main set we were treated to some more older tracks ‘Le miroir aux alouettes’ and ‘Le lierre’ before being led on to my personal highlight of the evening ‘Les Courants Ascendants’. This is the track that got me into the band in the first place and features solos from the Léode, French Horn, and guitar. Every time they play it live, the audience is always instantly captivated.

With Romain Thorel on keys and Vincent Barnavol on drums, the two continued into a jazz jamming session on the same chords and melody lines found in ‘Les Courants Ascendats’. Both musicians went off the rails to show off their talents in an instrumental duel.

Thanking the audience for coming out, Lazuli finished with a marimba medley, similar to their last tour containing melodies and snippets from various famous songs.


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