Cinema Review: Lambert & Stamp | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, February 20th, 2024  

Lambert & Stamp

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Directed by James D. Cooper

Apr 02, 2015 Web Exclusive
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In the early 1960s, an unlikely pair of friends set out to make a film and wound up managing one of music’s most legendary rock bands instead. Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp grew up in postwar London, but under very different circumstances: the former was from a wealthy, upper-crust family, the son of a famous composer, while the latter was a poor street kid from the East End. They became friends while working low-level film jobs at Shepperton Studios, and together, they came up with an idea for a documentary that would showcase their city’s burgeoning rock and roll scene. They signed a somewhat goofy-looking band of young musicians to star in their movie and, through their own improvisational management style, helped launch them into international stardom.

That band came to be known as The Who.

What sets Lambert & Stamp apart from the common rock documentary is that its focus isn’t on the band, but the big-thinking management duo behind them. It’s a refreshing angle; the film makes a strong case that without Lambert and Stamp’s creative input and clever marketing ideas, The Who would have never been. (Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey both appear in the film to give their old mentors credit.) While the film primarily focuses on Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp’s partnership, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes material for diehard Who fans, from vintage footage of the band’s early days—including scenes taken from Lambert and Stamp’s unreleased film—to an appropriately-rocking soundtrack which features a nice selection of little-heard rough cuts and song demos.

Author rating: 6.5/10

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