I know the Hebden Bridge / Todmorden valley well as my in-laws live there. They have rather got into the slightly laid-back, posh hippy cool vibe of the place, although underneath that cool exterior of the valleys, I know there are hidden layers and pockets leading down to a tough and angry life. I’ve walked past too many High School kids smoking skunk along the Mytholmroyd canal side. A drug town with a tourist problem as wise souls might say.
Knowing the place as I do, and adoring the leading lights of the Trades Club and the Golden Lion, it is not surprising that these small towns produce sons and daughters with a voice, and an opinion they want to share. Working Men’s Club, The Orielles and The Lounge Society are all outspoken bands who force out the things going on in their heads for an unsuspecting world to absorb.
I’ve been an avid follower of The Lounge Society since I caught the 4-piece at their support slot to Warmduscher at the Huddersfield Parish in early 2020. At that time the lads were too young to (legally) drink at the bar, and there was a huge contrast between their young, slender frames in baggy suits, their worldly-wise lyrics exposing exploitation and injustice, and the way they wielded and parried their musical weapons as practiced and as determined as any toughened warrior.
Even during the subsequent long period of communal enforced stasis, Lounge Society have been turning the screws with their brand of punchy, incisive post punk. There’s been the biting, anxious, edgy debut release Generation Game, the bitter and deft demolition of those who destroy the environment for their sport in Burn The Heather, and the battle we face with big biz corporation trying to force feed us consumerism and fashion in Cain’s Heresy.
At last it is time for the EP, Silk for the Starving, and the two most recent released tracks Burn the Heather and Cain’s Heresy are now joined by two healthy siblings, Television and Valley Bottom Fever. Although 50% of the songs on the EP were already known, these new tracks just enrich the Lounge Society story. The Lounge Society EP is another cherished possession in a spare room cavern cram filled with glittering vinyl jewels. Smaug has nothing on me, dear reader.
Television has that very edgy, garage mid 70’s New York punk feel which reminds me of the likes of Jonathan Richmond, Patti Smith, Mink DeVille, and indeed Tom Verlaine and Television. Amidst the garage feel of the funk and punk in this post punk tune, lead singer Cameron Davey imparts the cynical of how horror is consumed: “Genocide makes for the best TV”. Clearly there is a touch of “Holidays in the Sun” and a hint of a very raw Strokes in the history of this band. Valley Bottom Fever has a lovely scuddy uncontrolled, blues psychobilly full on assault to it. There’s deep beauty in chaos, and here The Lounge Society find it perfectly.
Live The Lounge Society surprise with sheer power and determination and magically there is a massive tour of the UK and Ireland coming up for the band before the end of the year. I’ll be catching the band at The Castle in Manchester and as support to the Cribs at the Piece Hall, and I advise you to check out the band’s socials to get your own ticket to special.
* Images have been taken from the bands social media