In the basement of a Costa Coffee Shop, I met with up and coming, new band, Them Changes. Self described as a “psychedelic space punk power trio from North London”, Them Changes has a fresh and addictive sound. They started life as school friends at Fortismere in Muswell Hill and formed a tight bond immediately. Being asked to support fellow schoolmate, Michael Kiwanuka, at his first gig gave the band a chance to promote themselves and earn their own set at the end of the night.
The band became memorable to audiences due to their energetic performances and friendly persona. This is evident through the recurring popularity at The Wheelbarrow in Camden once a month when the band host their event, “Hooligan Soup”. “We wanted to create a night of really good music all the way through with a feel good atmosphere”. Hooligan Soup is very much their baby and aims to give first time audiences a feeling of inclusion, while veterans get to experience something new each month; “It’s a wicked platform for us, but also great watching all the bands that do very varied types of music.”
“The energy from recording was really exciting…as soon as we heard it back it sounded like a single”
Hooligan Soup has also been a helpful vehicle for the band to promote their debut single, Lie to Me. “Generally in everyday life, everybody tells white lies, [but] they also tell big lies. It’s like the line in the song; “if you said you never did it, you’d be doing it all again”. Just as Hooligan Soup is intended for all audiences, Lie to Me is a general comment on the everyday ability of people to lie. “The energy from recording was really exciting…as soon as we heard it back it sounded like a single”.
The song’s video has been seen as controversial. Created by Offkey Creations, it includes a montage of television archival images which represent scenarios involving lies: ranging from Pinocchio to Jeremy Kyle and even Tony Blair. The inclusion of political figures such as Nick Griffin and George Bush is what has provoked this controversial response, but the band maintain that; “we had our ideas of what we wanted and I think all the images are fair”.
“Them Changes” have a slick, catchy sound that makes for addictive listening…
Since the release of their single, the band has been labelled with the comparison of “the UK’s answer to Kings of Leon”. “We play guitars and I’ve got a bit of husky voice, which is the [only] comparison as far as we’re concerned, although there are worse people to be compared to”. A chance meeting also lead to Jack White becoming a fan when he happened to be in Camden and “there have been a few emails exchanged”.
Them Changes has a slick, catchy sound that makes for addictive listening as well as transfers into an exciting performance. Their pure love for all things music transcends their sound. Musical tastes in the band range from Springsteen and Hendrix to Tyler the Creator due to lead singer Alex doubling as a DJ. This amalgamation makes for an array of songs which are both melodically remarkable and lyrically smart. Them Changes are a band of music and personalities which are hard not to like. The first single Lie to Me is most certainly worth a listen, although a disclaimer must be issued; with a dangerously catchy chorus you are guaranteed to be singing it around the house for days to come.
The next Hooligan Soup is at The Wheelbarrow in Camden on 30 June.
Image courtesy of Dave Richardson and Them Changes