THE HAMPDENS @ The Toff in Town, Melbourne


There’s something to be said for observing punctuality at a music gig. And that is – don’t.

Rock up as the curtain flails back and the band receives their raucous applause as you make your entrance. Sure, I appreciate the anticipation of a band’s appearance but not when I’m several hours too early and not entirely interested in the support bands. Add to that the irony that the only available seats were those at the bar, and I was the designated driver.

My sobriety and promptness frustrations aside, it did allow me to utterly appreciate the band I did come to see –  the effervescent Hampdens.

Unveiled on the stage like a glowing light in a tunnel of monotonous darkness, the trio of Susannah, Gav & Jules threw life into the Toff like the shot of Vodka I was severely craving.

Dressed in crisp white with silver balloons and a banner as their backdrop, this array was a nod to the name of the their new record, ‘The Last Party’. The release of this eagerly anticipated debut coincided with the Hampdens’ residencies at the Toff in town and the Northcote Social Club throughout the month of April.

It is remarkably clear that this trio could mesmerise any audience with their evoking lyrics and serene melodies. Susannah’s vocals are genuine and beautifully unique, seeming to give the Hampden’s their signature sound. Performing such incredible tracks from the album like ‘Croupier‘, ‘The Hype’ and ‘Asleep On The Lawn’ (used recently by Ch. 7 for their Home & Away promo) the Hampdens remain true to their recorded sound.

Despite the growing success of ‘Asleep On The Lawn’ and the utterly enticing ‘Generation Y’ (produced and mixed by Victor Van Vugt who has worked with Beth Orton and Nick Cave) the Hampdens remain a modest group bursting with waves of creativity, yet thankfully managing to avoid the current of the mainstream for the time being.


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