Last week, London four-piece Cheatahs played an early set to a nearly full house of eager kids camped out for a full night of hard and fast rock and roll at the Echo.
They set the tone of the evening (which was the third stop on their four week tour with FIDLAR and Wavves) by careening through the bombastic, guitar-centric, and above all else hook-laden songs that they’ve been building quite the reputation for.
The set consisted mostly of songs from their forthcoming debut full length (due out later this year on Wichita Records). Fan favorites like “Coared,” the title track from their first EP, and “The Swan” from their second EP, Sans, were played towards the end of the set, and the momentum the band gained leading up to those crowd pleasers was not lost on anyone. A guy standing next to me yelled “Cheatahs!!” at least two (maybe three) times during this last part of the set.
Cheatahs’ enthusiasm, and command over the room wasn’t a bit surprising. They were fresh off of SXSW, and the muscles they had been working during that week – which is famous for bands playing a crazy amount of shows in a crazy small amount of days – were on full display.
I was able to chat with the band briefly before the Echo show, and there were so many neatly specific things that they were looking forward to on for the upcoming tour. Bassist Dean Reid grew up in San Diego and lived in L.A. for many years before moving to London, so he was excited to be back playing at the Echo, and for the following night’s show at the legendary Casbah in San Diego. He’d never actually gotten to go to a show there since he moved to L.A. at 18, and the venue is 21+. Lead singer Nathan Hewitt was excited to take the scenic route (the 1) from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, and stop at the Big Sur River Inn where you can apparently order a beer and drink it while sitting in a chair in the river!
Information I’m definitely filing away for my next road trip. He was also looking forward to the upcoming dates in Canada, his home country, noting that they were staying with a school friend of his in Toronto, and that he’d never had a chance to play in front of anyone he went to school with before.
We also talked about the new record. Most of it has been recorded already, and lead guitarist James Wignall estimated that the mixing and mastering would be done by May. The production is still in the hands of Reid, as it was on those aforementioned EPs.
When the other members of the band began to jokingly float the possibility of one day being able to afford to bring in an outside producer, Hewitt almost immediately stated his preference that they never do that. “You’re so good at making us sound like us,” he pointed out to Reid. We all agreed that that’s pretty much the best quality you can hope to find in a record producer. I mentioned how much I like the one track from the album, “Fall”, that’s been making the internet rounds lately, Wignall gleefully informed me that it’s the “most mellow track on the record.”
I’ll leave you with a video that they made for “Coared”. It’s a simple premise, but the look that director Federico Urdaneta (a friend of the band’s) achieved is pretty spectacular. The concept gets increasingly more amazing if you follow it to the very end.