The Chats are an Australian punk rock band that formed…
14 Oct 2020 7:30pm
+ Special Guests TBA
14.10.2020 | £9.00 ADVANCE (+stbf) | 19:30 Doors
Happyness, formed of core members Jonny Allan and Ash Kenazi, have always been something of an enigma.
Formed as a three piece in 2013, the band quickly gained a reputation as an unconventional and defiantly independent force in London’s alternative music scene. With a staunch DIY outlook and fluid musical roles, they self-recorded their debut LP - lo-fi gem “Weird Little Birthday” - before ever playing to a live audience. They garnered critical acclaim for their wiry, 90s indebted arrangements and haunting blissed out melodies, as well as their eclectic lyricism and ability to switch effortlessly between wry, twisted one-liners and aching soulful poetry, which would earn them the NME Award for Best Lyric in 2015.
Numerous festival appearances followed, as well as concert appearances with Mac Demarco, Ezra Furman, The Dandy Warhols, and Speedy Ortiz, extensive headline tours of the UK, USA and Europe, an NPR Tiny Desk Session, two KEXP sessions, appearances in various Albums of the Year lists, and an eventual re-release of the LP on Moshi Moshi Records (UK) and Bar/None Records (USA).
The windswept harmonies and tighter, poppier structuring of much-anticipated sophomore album “Write In” saw Happyness grow from underground goofball phenomenon into established songwriters, and continue their trend of evading stylistic boundaries and defying easy categorisation. The period was marred by health-scares and inter-personal struggles, and after a year of touring the band took an unannounced hiatus, during which time they parted ways with bandmate Benji Compston.
In 2019, after a nearly 2 year period, that the band describe as “the best and worst years of our lives”, Happyness announced a handful of intimate headline dates which instantly sold-out, as well as a triumphantly oversubscribed appearance at End Of The Road Festival. The return was marked by drummer Ash Kenazi’s emergence from supporting role into fearless drag queen to co-front the project with singer Allan, as well as a 5-piece live line-up comprising of Max Bloom (Yuck), Anna Vincent (Heavy Heart) and Scott Booker Roach (Social Contract).
Beautiful, stormy comeback single “Vegetable” followed in January 2020, and if it’s anything to go by, the stage is set for a major Happyness renaissance. Sitting in tone somewhere between the ragged euphoria of Weird Little Birthday and the lush balladry of Write In, and with a fresh injection of characteristically mad, artfully self-aware lyrical turns (the song references Chumbawumba, drag queen Jujubee, vaping and Scientology’s E-meter auditing process all in the space of less than 4 minutes), it seems the band may be entering their most thrilling era yet. A UK tour in April suggests that we can expect a lot more material very soon. And with the London date at Moth Club sold out 2 months in advance, their biggest headline appearance yet announced at the legendary Scala in November, and the newest version of their screwball vision in tow, it’s as if they never went away. Happyness, to the runway.
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