The Death of Pop provided a great start to the gig on Thursday evening. The four piece brought a really high level of musicianship to the traditional alternative guitar band format. Angus James (guitar) seemed like a modest and low-key performer but his talent was obvious and the combination made him a real charismatic presence on stage. The band is characterised by their jangly pop style and sunny guitar fills. I recently saw Wesley Gonzalez (previously in lo-fi rock group Let’s Wrestle) perform material from his solo album, and aside from the absence of guitars in Gonzalez’s show, the energy and passion of The Death of Pop reminded me of Gonzalez’s performance.
After a quick change over, Hatchie and her band set up on stage. The Australian born and based artist began by commenting on the burnt red faces of many Londoners after the week’s spell of good weather. Here in London we haven’t quite learnt to cope with the sun and the risk of burning it would seem. She started with her fist single ‘Try’, a track that really filled the venue with dreamy 90s vibes. ‘Sugar & Spice’, the title track of her new EP followed and I was struck by Hatchie’s natural and relaxed stage presence. The EP (out at the end of the month) is a great pop record but it took on a different, less sugary, vibe when played live.
Some of the band had picked up colds after arriving in the U.K. but they powered through the set, playing a new unrealised track that was just as catchy as the first single ‘Try’. The latest single ‘Sleep’ produced a great reaction from the crowd. The real achievement of Hatchie and her band is building a little 90s dream world around them. The sound is relatable and nostalgic, I felt like I was hanging out in a 90s teen movie. The best pop performers do this, they draw you into a world of their creation. Hatchie does this in a more subtle but nevertheless effective way. By the time they rounded off the gig with ‘Sure’, I was pretty sure I’d want to see Hatchie perform again.