If you’re a fan of The Who, you’ll know the names Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. The rest of us are likely to have no idea just how instrumental these two blokes were to the success of one of the most influential bands in the world.
Lambert and Stamp is a documentary about these two mismatched men and their curious relationship. Meeting at Shepperton Studios where both were working as assistants, they were improbably drawn to one another – Lambert was from posh stock (his father was composer Constant Lambert) and spoke with a plum in his mouth while Stamp, whose brother Terence was just starting to make waves in the acting world, was a working class Eastender with accent to match.
James D Cooper’s film tells us how the pair wanted to make a rockumentary – but they struggled to find a band that defied the pretty boy-band mould. Until, that is, they chanced upon The High Numbers – The Who’s previous name – playing a gig in a packed sweatbox one night, and a hugely successful partnership was formed.
Cooper cuts in plenty of original footage from the time, including live stuff, behind-the-scenes shots and off-duty interludes. Interspersed with Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend interviews alongside Chris Stamp himself recounting his personal memories, the film pieces together an authentic and honest mosaic of two men, the sum of whose parts was far greater than their individual wholes.
A fascinating insight into the band and a heady era, Lambert and Stamp gives music fans a unique glimpse into the origins of this important band and offers an incredible portrait of an unconventional and inspirational friendship.
Words: Kim Taylor-Foster