Live review: HMLTD revived London’s underground scene at London’s Scala

The motley crew invited all the senses to their headline show.

1 year agoText by


To a first-timer experiencing the intriguing world of HMLTD’s live performances, it’s hard to imagine just what to expect. With a musical style that spans across a number of genres and the eclectic wardrobe to match, the London-based six-piece are renowned for being miscellaneous. Their miscellaneousness was certainly reflected by just the set-up alone inside of Scala. It’s difficult to articulate the smorgasbord of clobber that dressed the walls of the Scala; paper mache whales and willies hung from the ceilings, glam clams were sat in the foyer for guests to rest on, and heaps of black fishnet and chains draped the walls. The Atlantis inspired acid trip transported guests to the weird and wonderful universe of HMLTD, but that was just the beginning of the journey.

With support acts sent from the angels above (or Eat Your Own Ears), The Dead Pretties and The Rhythm Method definitely warmed the (already rearing) crowd up. Particularly impressive was the ska-influenced The Rhythm Method – essentially just two guys with a keyboard and a microphone, the pair captivated the whole room’s attention with their experimental and catchy tracks. Songs like ‘Cruel’ and ‘Home Sweet Home’ were particularly popular with the crowd.

HMLTD’s arrival on stage was like that of Martians landing on Earth for the first time; starry-eyed, anticipated, and really goddamn cool. Their intro was an invitation for all the senses to delve into their dimension, with cool air blasting the audience and booming subwoofers that shook the entire venue. They kicked off the set with the well known and beautifully dark ‘Stained’, and instantly the mood for the night was set. Almost a darker and more avant-garde Rocky Horror Picture Show, the set was highly immersive. Soon after, the motley crew went into fan favourites, such as the synth-heavy ‘Music!’ and ‘Satan’. The real crowd pleaser was current single ‘To The Door’. Uncomfortably loud industrial noise with the brooding lighting to match turned Scala into a gloomy all be it sublime dungeon that Notion was more than happy to be invited in to.

HMLTD are genuinely one of the most exciting and original bands around in 2017. To some, they might just be a David Bowie/Adam Ant hybrid, but they’re a bloody brilliant one, making experimentally innovative tracks with the exciting and unpredictable live shows to match.

Photography Nina Jones
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