The Truth: London Town-based alternative quartet Hatcham Social are poised to come back into the fray with a new album, a revamped line-up and a zestily rewired leftfield pop attitude. The band release ‘About Girls’ – the follow-up to their (he)artily acclaimed debut ‘You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil’ – on April 2nd 2012, with the ‘Dance With Me’ single arriving a week later.
The new Socialites are David Claxton (guitar) and Riley Difford (bass), who join the centrifugal brotherly song writing force of Toby Kidd (vocals, guitar) and Finn Kidd (drums, vocals). The new album is called ‘About Girls’ because it is kinda about the girls they have loved and lusted after over the last few years, while a “guitar heavy” sound sees them move away from the synth-dappled sheen of 2009’s ‘You Dig The Tunnel…’. Hatcham Social themselves consider ‘About Girls’ to be “less layered with more concise lyrics which are more playful and honest and from real life.” Catch Hatcham off guard and they might even say this is their “party” record.
Certainly, as well as the heroically hooky ‘Dance With Me’ (key line: “I look like a God when you dance with me”), at the last count there are no fewer than five other possible single tracks on ‘About Girls’. No surprise perhaps when one considers Hatcham Social made their name with a slew of unfeasibly catchy seven inches on ubercool labels such as Loog and WAKS, playing the old school indie card which befitted their cardigan-modelling style and sound tracked the band’s early days in New Cross and their latter tenure in East London, where they hosted their LivingRoom2 nights and sought to take their gloriously skewed indie tastes to the masses. Verily, the Kidds were playing Shop Assistants’ b-sides to ‘the kids’ when the new C86-referencing wave of high flying American lo-fiers and British new poppers were still dancing in the dark.
Also, considering the last ‘proper’ Hatcham Social single, ‘Sidewalk’, was released on 10” vinyl with each sleeve created by fans and backed by a video filmed in their record company headquarters on a budget of £140, it comes as no surprise to find that in these austere times Hatcham Social are taking that DIY ethos to new lengths. Hence ‘About Girls’ was recorded in their very own studio halfway up a mountain in Wales, with the help of Laurie Latham and Jim Anderson. And just as the synth sheen of its predecessor has gone by the wayside so the songs are punchier, perkier, punkier.
When they haven’t been going up the mountain and down the pop slope Hatcham Social have been keeping themselves busy elsewhere: Toby produced records for Bridport Dagger, Sunderbans and DID; Finn drummed with Tim and Mark from The Charlatans on their recent acoustic tour; and the two of them have been DJing out and about and supporting the likes of The Maccabees, Good Shoes and Pete & The Pirates when the time was right. Despite no official ‘releases’ in 2010 they made Artrocker’s Top Ten singles of the year with ‘NY Girls’, which made a fleeting appearance on fierce panda’s hypnotically limited ‘Gruff Trade’ compilation EP, while in 2011 they kept the home fires burning with the free download release of ‘Like An Animal’ and the Young & Lost digital club single ‘Shut Your Mouth’ whilst selling out the Lexington before Christmas. Hatcham Social: The Comeback? In truth, they never really went away…