Witch Hats | Santos Party House | 8.11.2008


After Friday night's blindside show at Glasslands I wanted to see Australia's Witch Hats again, having heard the record and hopefully with a decent PA this time. Which I definitely got at Santos, even if they didn't go on till after 1AM. Witch Hats really benefit from clear sound; the sludge turns into organized noise, even if it's just as loud. (Super loud!) It still takes a minute or two for hooks to break through the chaos, but they are there. Witch Hats are wild but with purpose, a bit gothy without looking the part, and possess a wise-ass sense of humor. Their album, Cellulite Soul, is very good but doesn't give you any warning to the sonic mayhem they create onstage.

Santos Party House, which looks like some underground club kid's half-remembered dream of 1988 with it's concrete, columns and giant-ass disco ball, seems to have spend the majority of its funding on the sound system. Speakers seem to rim the entire ceiling. Literally wired for sound. I didn't hate the place. People say drinks are expensive but Bud bottles are $4, not so bad. It was an odd crowd, mostly made up of pomade-tats-n-bangs types who were there for the Monday night Declassified party where DJs were spinning obscure rockabilly and girl group singles. But there was also tie-and-khakis bankers, club kids, and a fair amount of old school NY rockers, most of whom left after Heavy Trash's performance earlier in the night. (Matador Records major domo Gerard Cosloy stayed for their whole set.) Witch Hats sent some more running for the doors during their first song — did I mention they are really really loud? — but I think anyone who stayed dug them.

Here's video I shot for the song "Stupid Arrangements":

Witch Hats continue their American tour, and here are the remaining dates (Hey Baltimore, don't miss that show!). Go see them!:

14 Aug Philadelphia @ Millcreek Tavern w/ Whales and Cops + Ugh God + Drums Like Machine Guns
15 Aug Baltimore @ Nerve Centre w/ Hollywood, Vivian Girls, Crystal Slits, Sexually Retarded
16 Aug Washington DC @ Velvet Lounge w/ Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkey Birds
17 Aug Chapel Hill @ The Cave w/ Americans In France
18 Aug Atlanta @ The Earl w/ Derek Lyn Plastic + Coffin Bound
21 Aug Memphis @ Hi-Tone w/ The Barbaras + The Dranks
23 Aug San Antonio @ The Mix w/ Boxcar Satan
24 Aug Austin @ Beerland w/ Golden Boys
29 Aug San Diego @ The Yard w/ The Sess
30 Aug LA @ Fuck Yeah Fest

MP3: Witch Hats – I Can't Stay at Home (Buy it from Emusic)