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I spent my Valentine’s day with the most eccentric, outlandish glam-punk rock sextet writes contributor Olivia White
Having never properly listened to Happy Meal Ltd before last night I didn’t really have a clue of what to expect. Well that’s partially a lie considering I had seen the extravagant 6-piece band enter Sound Control (rest in peace) back in October before their set at Neighbourhood Festival. Their image as a band struck me with awe. They left me thinking who on earth they were and that I must keep an eye out for them when they return to Manchester because their live performances would undoubtedly be a ‘show’ if you know what I mean.
As HMLTD took to the stage, their garish style clearly deriving baby doll chic and dominatrix leather influence made me extremely excited for their set to begin. There’s something incredibly satisfying about witnessing a group of people express themselves so confidently and unapologetically regardless of how unconventional and bizarre they may appear. As soon as frontman Henry Spychalski strutted on the stage to ‘Proxy Love’ in his floor length cream fur coat and beret, it was clear a revolution had begun. An uprising that confined itself to the filthy, grimy walls of The White Hotel but it was a revolution nonetheless. One that is undeniably suited with the 21st century attitudes concerning gender norms and expectations.
HMLTD constructed an atmosphere charged with electricity, making their audience lunge forward time and time again in the hopes to clutch at the hands of their leader who promised nothing less than utter acceptance and exhilaration. In fact, the crowd was so elated that within 5 minutes of their set I found myself helplessly laying on the stage itself due to the lack of barrier, but I was quickly grabbed and pulled back up onto my feet.
There is absolutely no doubt that this eccentric, outlandish glam-punk rock sextet are incredibly serious about their live performances and this is clearly illustrated through each of their stage presences which remained solid throughout their set. Each embodied a persona resonating with their choice of outerwear, making their performance almost a production rather than a gig. Their exhibition of their most famous song ‘To the Door’ was impeccable as it was embellished with Spychalski’s flailing arms and quick step gestures.
Unfortunately, at times such ambitious displays of dance meant that the vocals were lost amidst the striking movements but nevertheless, HMLTD did not disappoint.
If there’s any band I want to be a part of, it’s HMLTD.