Hate That Smile – Energise – 14th June 1988

Alex Vann: Drums 
Rich Waitland: Guitar/Vocals 
Paul Chambers: Bass/Vocals 
Paul Simmons: Guitar 
Shaun Hemsley: Vocals

26th Feb 2021 – Not certain about the date for this but 1988 would be correct. This was the first iteration of Hate That Smile. Rich left fairly soon after recording this as we started to want to play more shows and I think he had young kids at the time and wasn’t able to commit his time. If I remember correctly I joined the band a little later after formation and still wasn’t sure about how to sing some of Paul’s lyrics so he and Rich ended up singing their songs in the studio.

Alex, the two Paul’s and I had all played together in Atrox which disbanded after Dave Redfern and Charlie Mason went off to university. I’m not sure of the genesis of Hate That Smile anymore. I think the Paul C came up with the name though not sure what the meaning was behind it. This was the time of the rise of Acid House music and raves which adopted the smiley face symbol and I found an image that was similar but the smile had been manipulated into something a little more sinister. I got 500 stickers made up and spread them everywhere I could around my little town. I don’t think they had any impact.

I still enjoy listening to these songs and we felt part of the much larger punk scene of the time though musically sometimes it’s hard to see where we fit in. I was always critical of my vocal skills, especially as this band needed a strong singer and not so much a shouter (which I also wasn’t particularly good at anyway) but considering how badly I sing these days I think I gave it a fair shot. The music holds up as interesting and I was happy with the lyrics I was contributing.

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