Dom Erskine was at Brighton's Great Escape Festival for Bobbysix.com. Hatcham Social at the Green Door Store was one of his highlights:
It is an unusual feeling to see a band like this at three in the afternoon, especially on a day so unusually bright and warm, but that is what sums up the experience of The Great Escape. The sun shone in through the window into the normally dark and dungeon-like venue and the set started with a few songs from their 2009 debut, You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil. They played through them with typical energy and attitude, possibly helped by the early start on a typical Brighton dirty weekend.
The set picked up with renditions of their new material. Taken from the recently released album About Girls, these new songs have a poppy, brighter feeling to them without losing any of the character for which the band are so well liked. Not to take anything away from the older material, but the new tracks sounded a better fit live, probably benefitting from my own sense of excitement at hearing them live for the first time. There was a more classic Rock n Roll sound to some the set. I Look Like a God When You Dance With Me (video above) was reminiscent of Roy Orbison (and a touch of the Pixies). This is a band whose hooks and choruses burrow into your sub-conscious, sticking with you long after your ears stop ringing.
The place was full and the atmosphere was friendly, with smiles on the faces of band and audience, even at the end of the set when, during NY Girl, a fusebox-related mishap left the band momentarily without vocals and bass. Tim Burgess said they have “the coolest drummer in the world.” This is true but the word "drummer" in that sentence could easily be replaced with any other band member.
With the music industry so saturated with "indie” groups and palatable dub step starlets, it is hard for any band to make it - or just make a living - so Hatcham Social deserve admiration for even approaching music as they do. Their newest album being released through a pledge campaign shows a perseverance to make their own music, and do it their way.
I would urge you to check out their new record and go see them live. I did, and it was brilliant.
Review by Dom Erskine. Keep it Bobbysix as they'll be more reaction from The Great Escape in the next few days.