Charity Swales

HMLTD @ The Magnet

From the offset HMLTD have had nothing but shock value, being one of the few bands out there who have had a legal battle with corporate giant McDonald’s, resulting in a name change from ‘Happy Meal Limited’ to HMLTD. Notable for pushing the boundaries of gender roles in their onstage attire, adorned in makeup and fishnet and funky suits, image is at the forefront of the band’s live performances. Despite having only three single releases under their leather studded belt, the hype for the East London sextet has been innumerous, particularly their high energy live performances. After playing at EBGBS last November with Liverpool’s Pink Kink, on Thursday night they rolled their circus into Liverpool’s most loved basement venue The Magnet.

If you didn’t already know that HTLMD were playing that night, you could have made a strong guess by the eclectically dressed crowd spilling out of The Magnet after the support act, Pixx. A celebration of all things weird and wonderful, the band stride onto the stage looking like Bowie and Beetlejuice’s love children.


Bursting into their first track Stained, frontman Henry Spychalski dangles from the stage, wires fall from the ceiling and limbs appear to erupt from all angles, as the crowd take no time getting stuck in. Spychalski manoeuvres around the stage like a young Iggy Pop or Nick Cave in The Birthday Party era, possessed by the music that surrounds him and the voice that escapes his mouth; it’s neurotic and almost satanic. Their sound has that DIY proto-punk feel, injected with a heavy dose of alternative-electronic. Latest single Satan, Luella and I and is a 6 minute romp of pop-psychedelica, whilst To The Door is a moshpit ensuing glam, electro pop anthem and the highlight of the night. Screaming the lines “Is This What You Wanted?”, from the song of the same name, the HMLTD circus rolls up, leaving the crowd chanting for more.

It’s hard to pin HMLTD down into a particular genre, as they have transcended the pigeon holes, but what I do know this is one of the most exciting live bands I have seen this year. A raw, vivacious assault of glam art-pop punk.


You can check out the video for Satan Lluella and I below.

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2 Responses

  1. Jordan Holdsworth Jordan Holdsworth says:

    Loved reading this, Charity! Good job Looking forward to reading your next piece!

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