Bands to Watch #222: The Church of When the Shit Hits the Fan

By on Monday, 11th July 2011 at 12:00 pm

Words and photos by Martin Sharman

Representing the oft-overlooked genre of Scottish hip hop, The Church of When the Shit Hits the Fan blend bleeding-edge beats and classic hip hop stylings with diverse Celtic and metal influences. TGTF caught up with them at the launch gig of their second EP, the night before their biggest performance to date, on the T Break stage at T In The Park. Whilst their combination of dark, almost nihilstic lyrical tendencies and so-called “Doomcrunk” beats might be too much for some, their intensity is tempered by a tongue-in-cheek delivery. With a background in slam poetry, and previous experience as a professional clown, MC Harlequinade’s mixture of the literary and ridiculous makes for an entertaining and listenable show.

“I consider hip-hop to be a metagenre – instead of using funk and soul, we take our influences from black metal and integrate that into the hip-hop sound,” claims Harlequinade after the set. “Talk of the apocalypse doesn’t have to be negative – my approach is, the world could end tomorrow, so let’s have a party tonight!”

Citing obscure yet prolific hip-hop practitioner Noah23 as an influence, he’s sceptical about the relevance of more mainstream artists. “The underground hip hop scene is in a healthy state – but you have to dig deep beyond the usual knuckle-dragging, chest-beating mainstream acts to find the quality. I want to do something more cerebral.”

Is he looking forward to the band’s biggest performance to date tomorrow? “I’ve got mixed feelings about it. It’s great to be playing such a prestigious gig, but it’s an audience I never thought we’d be exposing ourselves to. We’re just going to have some fun.”

Has the time come when Scottish hip hop to makes a break for the mainstream? Only time will tell. Have a listen to and download a free EP from the band below. More photos of the band from T in the Park are behind the cut.

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