|Hatcham Social Get Weird On Lp!|
|6th March 2022|
|Share: Artist Profile|
| a totally weirded out fierce panda one sheet
The Act: HATCHAM SOCIAL
The Release: 'WE ARE THE WEIRDOS'
The Formats: LIMITED EDITION COLOURED VINYL / DIGITAL
The Release Date: MARCH 25TH 2022
HATCHAM SOCIAL LAUNCH THE 'WE ARE THE WEIRDOS' ALBUM WITH A SPECIAL INSTORE LIVE AND SIGNING APPEARANCE, LIKE THIS:
The Truth: On March 16th 2009 oft-loved indie stalwarts HATCHAM SOCIAL released their debut album, 'You Dig The Tunnel, I'll Hide The Soil' on fierce panda records. Precisely thirteen years and nine days later they are releasing a career-spanning collection of nuggety pop nuggets called 'We Are The Weirdos', back on that very same label.
Last October the raffish combo returned to the live stage in splendid form after a half-decade-long hiatus when a brand new old single, 'If You Go Down To The Woods Today (Three Cheers For Our Side)' appeared. Next up, the Tim Burgess version of elusive early track 'Wild Creatures' crawls into the light as a single on February 11th.
'We Are The Weirdos' then. Offbeat by name, offbeat by nature. A rickety, rackety, rockety compilation album which brings together the very best and lost singles and singalongs from the curious career of one of Great Britianshire's greatest unsung beatpop groups. The 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 Kidd and the families they have created along the way, both with the band members who come and go and the people around them at the labels and at the shows - the drivers, bookers, writers, the makers and shakers and likeminded artists.
Born into a Welsh community of punks, hippies and drop outs, Toby and Finn were brought up by two working class Londoners who abandoned life in the city to create a free alternative school, organic farm and music studio in the hills of Wales. Here the brothers, along with their folk singer sister, grew up with a rotating array of musicians and artists staying at the house, from the estate punks and the rave scenesters to folk and world music players.
The story of Hatcham Social really starts when Finn, aged 15, moves down to London to live with Toby, who is attending Art School. They spend the next few years immersed in the squats, DIY labels and parties of the New Cross scene and eventually bump into David Fineberg, a bass player from North London. With a shared love of Orange Juice, the Beach Boys and Josef K they form Hatcham Social proper, naming themselves after the original name of New Cross, meaning a Clearing In The Woods.
Hatcham Social took an 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 Loog Records and went into the studio with Faris Badwan from the Horrors on production duties, where they recorded their single 'So So Happy Making', which entered the independent charts at number 14. Soon after this 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 were very anti-macho: we thought that the post-Libertines thing was very male and we wanted to be much less genderised in that way, so there was less prancing around jutting our groins out. We thought that was an important thing. We had a lot of fights and things thrown at us outside of London for that lol."
'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)'. Crucially, it also covers the very bestest tunes from each of their four albums. Unsurprisingly, each album evolved conceptually from a different place, according to the pop Kidds themselves:
'YOU DIG THE TUNNEL, I'LL HIDE THE SOIL' (fierce panda, 2009)
'ABOUT GIRLS' (fierce panda, 2012)
'CUTTING UP THE FUTURE LEAKS OUT THE PAST' (Ogenesis, 2014)
'THE BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD' (Crocodile, 2015)
In 2015 Hatcham Social played a farewell show after the self-release of ‘The Birthday Of The World’ to concentrate on other projects. Toby completed a masters at the Royal College of Art and Finn completed a masters in Illustration at London College of Communication. Finn also drummed extensively with Tim Burgess, while Toby worked on projects in the studio with various artists, including the recent Rough Trade bestseller Amy Studt's album. Both brothers now work across audio and visual disciplines, and have been excited to carefully collect together these songs that they think best provide the ideas behind the ideals of Hatcham Social.
"When you are inside something it can get hard to see what you are doing, but being able to step back has given us the chance to re-evaluate our work, find some old recordings and even finish a song that was meant for the first record thirteen years ago. What we have always seen Hatcham Social as is something that crosses that strange space between the working class pop music of the masses with the punk anarchistic obliqueness of our experience of having to live in an unjust and unequal world that mostly pays dividends to greed and selfishness."