Hatcham Social

Hatcham Social


It’s a very damp evening in Manchester but that doesn’t stop the fans turning out in the Northern Quarter, where Hey Manchester! have put on a fantastic bill this evening.

Opening we have TVAM, the work of one man from Wigan. Having been recently released on a compilation cassette via Blak Hand Records, TVAM is starting to receive the attention he deserves. Not your average performer, Joe stands on stage with a guitar, a complicated pedal board – and a TV/ video set up. He offers up a hybrid of electro garage rock which is ridiculously infectious. The curious crowd edge forward and when ‘No Explanations’ comes into being with its pounding drum beat and furious strumming, the heads start to nod. TVAM is an assault on the aural and visual senses, with the TV station next to him flashing sufficiently bizarre and thought provoking new-age imagery. ‘Total Immersion’ is the stand out track however with its wonderful twinkling melody in the background and the repetitive guitar riff driving the front. The rotations within this track are the key and by the end there isn’t a still head in the room. I’d say TVAM has made an impression here tonight, and I’ll be following his progress closely.

Douga take to the stage next, a four piece I haven’t encountered before. The Manchester based band have been a featured act on BBC 6music and released The Silent Well in 2014, which was built on their love of rhythmic repetition and psychedelic drone. They open with ‘Still Waters’ which is steady and thought provoking, with the use of an acoustic guitar the drawing sound. They up the anti mid set, with ‘Blue Is Nothing’ which has similarities to the sound of Dry The River before commencing into three newer tracks. They make a joke at their own expense about the length of time it takes for them to tune, however when they begin the wait is worth it. it is not difficult to spot the divide, with the latter tracks of a significantly different beast than their predecessors. ‘Suspense Lungs’ is the stand out track for me purely for its intensity, but ‘The Golden Tide’ contains one of the catchiest guitar riffs I’ve heard in some time. The crowd are sated and show their appreciation as they leave the stage.

I became aware of Hatcham Social a number of years ago, and have always had a fondness for but have never experienced live. The London DIY quartet released their fourth album, The Birthday of the World and continues to remain elusive in terms of fitting into a scene. With a chameleon sound, they fit into many places and dare to go where others wouldn’t. They take to the stage with their breezy surf rock style, and open with ‘Find a Way to Let in Your Sins (Hit a Red Cut a Right)’ with its casual vocal style and effective pauses. They seem a bit stiff at the beginning, but as they progress they visually loosen up and just in time to perfectly execute ‘Murder In The Dark’. The combination of a heavy bass line, rolling guitar riffs and empowered drumming make this a very mutable track which lends itself to many genres, and therefore many fans. It’s delivered so well here, it is arguably my track of the set.

They now ask us to inch forward, kindly informing us that they won’t bite – and so we do. ‘Darling’ offers a sense of washed out guitars effects which is very prominent in the psych/surf rock scene at the moment and lends itself really well to their sound here. ‘Lion with a Lazer Gun’ prompts a cheer from the crowd, and singing along is everywhere? ‘Crocodile’ is a step back to 2009, coming from their debut album You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil, the melody of this tune has a calming effect and the crowd lap it up. By now you can tell the band are really enjoying themselves, and as if reading my mind, lead singer Toby tells us merrily “we’re having fun”. ‘Life In An Endless Love Song’ is used to end the set, taking the tempo down several notches and really showing the versatility of this band.

Hatcham Social have been around a while now, and based on tonight’s performance and the quality of the tracks on the new album, they aren’t going anywhere soon – nor would we want them too.

Hatcham Social  Official | Facebook | Twitter

Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.