Lambert & Stamp: documentary about The Who’s managers reviewed

Lambert & Stamp opens in the UK on May 15

Trending Now

Fleet Foxes – Shore

Robin Pecknold's tide-like ruminations on ageing, loss and uncertain times

PJ Harvey, Tom Petty, Idles and more star in the new Uncut

In this issue, John Fogerty talks about the influence that one of his favourite bands had on Creedence Clearwater...

The 10th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2020

William Tyler, New Order, Todd Rundgren, Gwenifer Raymond and much more

Introducing the Ultimate Music Guide to the Grateful Dead

Meeting your heroes can be disappointing. As you’ll read in our new Ultimate Music Guide, when Melody Maker’s Steve...

At first glance, it’s hard to work out quite what Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp had in common. One, the Oxford-educated son of an esteemed classical composer; the other the son of a tugboat captain from London’s East End. As one bemused interviewee reasons in Lambert & Stamp, “If you’d made this up as a sitcom idea… it wouldn’t work. It’s too far fetched.”

But Lambert and Stamp’s interests converged in film: they met in the early Sixties while both employed at Shepperton studios as assistant directors and both harboured dreams of directing. Their entry point, they reasoned, would be to document the emerging London music scene by following an upcoming band: The High Numbers. What they lacked in experience and knowledge of rock’n’roll, they compensated for in what Stamp calls ideas-driven “balls in the air” tactics. Pete Townshend, meanwhile, recalls the sharpness of Lambert’s thinking: “‘We need to have an address in Eton Place, because then we won’t ever have to pay our bills’.”

Advertisement

Pete Townshend speaks candidly about the future of The Who, retirement and turning 70 in the new Uncut: in shops now and available online

Lambert died in 1981 and appears here in archive footage; Stamp, meanwhile, was filmed at length before his death in 2012 by director James D Cooper. Stamp is terrific value, his thoughts windmilling at a ferocious rate. For once even Townshend is relegated to supporting player; though of course, he still finds time to lecture Roger Daltrey on a particular aspect of their band’s history. Other interviews with Terence Stamp, Heather Daltrey, Richard Barnes add shading to this intimate portrait of the unlikely partnership behind one of rock’s greatest bands.

The final sequences, of Stamp visiting Lambert’s grave and reunited on screen with his former charges for a black tie award’s ceremony in America, are especially touching. “There are a lot of things we could have done and should have done and didn’t do,” reflects Stamp finally. “But we did enough.”

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Issue

PJ Harvey, Tom Petty, Idles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Matt Berninger, Steel Pulse, Hüsker Dü, Laura Veirs, Chris Hillman and Isaac Hayes
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement