|Three Cheers For Hatcham Social!|
|27th September 2021|
|Share: Artist Profile|
| a casually excellent fierce panda one sheet
The Act: HATCHAM SOCIAL
The Tune: 'IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS TODAY (THREE CHEERS FOR OUR SIDE)'
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: OCTOBER 22ND 2021
The Truth: Oft-loved indie stalwarts HATCHAM SOCIAL are set to return to the live stage after a half-decade-long hiatus with fierce panda release plans a'plenty. A single, 'If You Go Down To The Woods Today (Three Cheers For Our Side)' drops on October 22nd, and is taken from a career-spanning compimilation release called 'We Are The Weirdos', due out March 2022.
Hatcham Social play their first live show for six tearful years like this:
'We Are The Weirdos' then. Offbeat by name, offbeat by nature. A rickety, rackety, rockety compimilation album which brings together the very best and lost singles and singalongs from the four albums released during the curious career of one of Great Britianshire's greatest unsung beatpop groups. Those tunes tippytoe from 2006 to 2015, a near-decade filled with melodic indie nonchalence and casually excellent haircuts. Now, six years on those tunes resurface to shine a light on a highly enlightened collective.
Hatcham Social - for 'tis they - very much see themselves as the creative partnership of brothers Finn and Toby and the families they have created along the way. With a shared love of Orange Juice, the Beach Boys and Josef K they formed Hatcham Social proper, naming themselves after the original name of New Cross, meaning a Clearing In The Woods, and taking the idea of utopian anarchism from the pages of an Art Theory textbook as a starting point for a band that wanted to fuse the anger and anarchy of punk with a lyrical absurdity born of Dada, and a messy pop sensibility.
After a string of furiously catchy and scratchy DIY singles and a cassette mini album, they signed to TBD (ATO) Records in the USA and fierce panda in the UK and went in the studio with Tim Burgess to record their debut long player, 'You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The Soil'.
Fuelled by some suitably precocious press support (a 10/10 review from Vice for 'You Dig The Tunnel...' was a particular standout), they went on to release three more albums and gig extensively over the following years with various musicians based around the brothers supporting a selection of indie delights such as Crocodiles, The Charlatans, Tim Burgess, The Maccabees, Good Shoes, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, The Walkmen and Crystal Stilts.
'We Are The Weirdos' collects together some of those key early singles and adds in three extra never-released before tracks - Baxter Dury's version of 'Hypnotise Terrible Eyes', Tim Burgess's version of 'Wild Creatures' and the lead-off single 'If You Go Down To The Woods Today (Three Cheers For Our Side)', which is a brand new old single. Kind of.
"To re-record 'If You Go Down To The Wood Today…’ we went in with Brian O’Shaunghessy at Bark Studio in Walthamstow," explains Finn. "You may recognise Brian as the genius behind Lawrence’s post-Felt records, such as Go-Kart Mozart and Denim, as well as lesser known gems like My Bloody Valentine’s 'You Made Me Realise' and 'Screamadelica' by Primal Scream.
"It was the first time we had worked with Brian in this capacity, and it was liberating to let someone else take the helm production-wise for once, letting me, Toby and James concentrate on playing. We approached it very much how we approached all the early singles, which meant doing live takes with the three instruments (guitar, bass, and drums), then main vocal and minimal overdubs, in this instance consisting of some 808 claps, an old synth (originally owned by Joe Meek), and a couple of backing vocals."
"Originally the song was written before the first album but it was never finished," elaborates Toby. "It felt like it was a manifesto of what the meaning of the name of the band was 'Hatcham Social' being about the clearing in the woods, and this was about claiming a space in the clearing, or standing up for this space together. I was thinking a lot at that time about the play and naivety of children's rhymes and you can feel that in the verses. Then recently after we decided to re-record it for this, I finished off the lyrics and we finalised the arrangement. It was quite an interesting thing: it was like co-writing with myself!
"I wrote quite a lot of new material and came down to the lines that are now the chorus that I think sum up some of the concerns of the whole Hatcham Social project from my contemporary perspective - albeit in a slightly abstracted and assembled manner.
"We see ourselves as part of nature, not apart from nature. We are not concrete towers living in concrete towers. We are empathetic fellow beings on a muddy watery rock who should prize that fellowship above ownership of land and tower blocks. It's a simple call for sharing, not market shares."
HATCHAM SOCIAL: AN INDIEDISCOGRAPHY