Live Review: Hatcham Social, Old Blue Last, London (07/08/13)


South London’s jangly indie-pop foursome, Hatcham Social, played an intimate set at East London’s Old Blue Last to try out new material from their forthcoming third LP.

The third LP seems to be an important step in the progress of New Cross’ Hatcham Social. First album, You Dig The Tunnel…, was witty indie-pop, and second album, About Girls, followed in an almost identical style. With a third album, it’ll be a chance for Hatcham Social to show that they do have another string or two to their bow.

Talking about strings, support for the night came from Flowers, with their very 80s take on female-fronted noise-pop, and a bass-playing lead singer with only one string on her bass. At times, Flowers make thunderous amounts of noise, with feedback-drenched guitars and clattering drums. At other times, however, the delicateness of Rachel’s stunning voice is allowed to take over, as shown in the Young Marble Giants-esque b-side below. I really hope Flowers do well; they’re what we need in music right now: fun and loud.

Hatcham Social then took to the stage. What struck me first was the American West-style shirt worn by lead singer Toby, a far cry from the twee 80s-inspired shirts that the band had always previously worn. Fittingly, the band’s sound had progressed in a similar manner, now verging on Americana, in a similar manner to the latest Mystery Jets album.

It was great to see Hatcham Social moving forwards as a band and encompassing new influences and styles, leaving the catchy 60s beats and 80s jangly pop behind. However, what made them so good in my eyes before was their knack for a pop song, something that seemed completely missing from the new songs. Sure, there were a couple of cracking choruses hidden in the set, but nothing on the same scale as ‘Penelope’ or ‘So So Happy Making’.

Perhaps, the third LP could be a grower, with no stand-out singles and instead, a series of cleverly-crafted songs that just get better with every listen. I’m certainly intrigued to hear the finished product very, very soon.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to Parakeet – Shonen Hearts EP


Leave a Reply