L.Stadt is one of the most interesting bands playing 21st-century alternative rock, which they expertly merge with surf rock and psychedelia.
L.Stadt, photo: Rafał Masłow
The group was founded in 2003 by vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Łukasz Lach (born 18th February, 1982 in Łódź) and drummer Radek Bolewski. The line-up was completed by bassist Adam Lewartowski and percussionist Andrzej Sieczkowski. Lach had previously performed with the band Puzzle, which was distinguished at the Jarocin festival in 1994 (he became the youngest person to win laurels at this festival – at the time he was only 12 years old!). In the middle of the 90s, he joined the children’s band L.O. 27. He also appeared on albums by other performers, including Hedone and Renata Przemyk. Bolewski had played with Elżbieta Adamiak and Krystyna Prońko. Lewartowski and Sieczkowski used to play with the band Kisiel.
Fragment of a L.Stadt concert held in the framework of the Kultura 2.0 programme; see the entire video at ninateka.pl
L.Stadt had its first success when they made it to the finals of the Gra muzyka contest which was organized by the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. Another success came when the group performed at the Off Festival thanks to a web vote. At that time, L.Stadt performed at Polish festivals (Camerimage, the band's first performance, and the Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival – both in Łódź – and at the Low-Fi Festival in Bydgoszcz) and foreign ones (Classrock in France).
L.Stadt’s first recordings appeared on compilations. The song Gore was included on the album Offensywa, and a year later Ain’t Got My Music, a cover of a Porter Band tune, was put on the record Wszystkie covery świata. In 2007, Lach played a dozen or so concerts with T.Love, and he was considered as a replacement for Jacek “Perkoz” Perkowski. However, he eventually didn't join them.
L.Stadt was the band's full-length debut album. This record contains short, tight, spatially-arranged songs. For L.Stadt, the musicians drew inspiration from The Beatles, The Velvet Underground and Morrisey. The most popular song on that record was the ballad Londyn (nominated in the Best Rock Hit of 2009 category of the vote-based contest Eska Music Awards), in which Lach sings about Poles going to Great Britain for work. This was the only song in Polish on the album – the others were recorded in English.
In the years following the record's release, L.Stadt performed both in European and in North American countries. They appeared at Week WorkShop Music & Art in Stuttgart, ViertelFest in Bremen, Afisza Piknik in Moscow and Be2gether in Lithuania. Outside Europe, the band also performed twice at the prestigious South by SouthWest festival in Austin, Texas, the Culture Collide Festival in Los Angeles, and Indie Week Festival in Toronto.
The next album, EL.P confirmed that Lach and L.Stadt have an extraordinary gift to easily create melodious, unconventional songs. The combination of guitar riffs, electronics, Lach's fierce yet sensual voice, and a great musical imagination are EL.P's main advantages. The hit Death of a Surfer Girl, with its sixties vibe, is accompanied by the garage Fashion Freak, the stoner rock Smooth and the surfrock Charmin / Lola. The band promoted the album with a series of concerts in Poland, which also featured Pogodno and Sorry Boys and were held in the framework of the Alter Native Tour. In 2011, L.Stadt became the first Polish band to record a concert in 3D.
Lach is also active in other bands - he and Bolewski form the group Radiev, and he has played with Chwasty, Almost Dead Celebrities and the ephemeral band Heart & Soul, which played songs by Joy Division.
- L.Stadt (CD), 2008, Eventmusic
- EL.P (CD), 2010, Mystic Production
Author: Leszek Gnoiński, August 2011.
Tranlated by: Marek Kępa