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As a songwriter Lach founded the Antifolk art and music movement, which is sited as a main inspiration by hundreds of performers today from Beck and Jeffrey Lewis to Hamell on Trial, The Moldy Peaches and Regina Spektor in the US to the likes of Laura Marling in the UK. Lach has six albums out, a new book of poetry to be published in January 2015 and a regular series on BBC Radio 4 called ‘The Lach Chronicles’ which is currently on its second season.
Lach came to Greenwich Village (New York City) in the early 80’s, heading straight for Folk City. However it seemed Lach’s renowned punk/folk style was not welcome and so he moved to the Lower East Side, opening his own illegal after-hours club, The Fort. The same week Lach opened The Fort, Folk City held the New York Folk Festival, and so, Lach held the first New York Antifolk Festival. The first wave of Antifolk was born.
In 1990 Lach put out his debut CD, Contender on Danny Goldberg's (who was managing Nirvana at the time) Goldcastle label. The album received rave reviews in the press ("Lach is the spokesman for a new generation!” - Spin) and considerable radio play but unfortunately the label folded three months later. Lach moved to San Francisco releasing an EP, Family Values Pack, containing The Hillary Clinton Song which aired on over 600 stations during Bill Clinton's first campaign.
In 1993 Lach returned to New York and started The Fort up again at The Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village, ushering in a new wave of Antifolk. In 1997 Lach started his own label, Fortified Records, and released, in conjunction with Shanachie Records, Lach's Antihoot: Live from the Fort. Fortified subsequently released downtown comedian Rick Shapiro's Unconditional Love, produced by Lach (1998) and Major Matt Mason USA's Me, Me, Me (2000). In 1999 Fortified released Lach’s second album Blang!, produced by Richard Barone (The Bongos).
18 September 2001 saw the domestic release of Lach's newest work Kids Fly Free, again produced by Richard Barone with a 16-page lyric booklet illustrated by celebrated outsider artist Daniel Johnston. Tours of the UK by NYC Antifolkers such as The Moldy Peaches, Hamell On Trial and Jeffrey Lewis sparked the beginnings of the UK Antifolk scene inspiring such British artists as Milk Kan, Filthy Pedro, David Cronberg’s Wife, Sgt. Joe Buzzfuzz and Laura Marling. The landmark London music venue The 12 Bar Club began hosting monthly Antifolk nights called Blang! In honor of Lach’s album and influence.
In 2002 Lach signed with the Agency Group (White Stripes, The Strokes) as his exclusive European booking agent, and with Steve Hawkins (Dinosaur Jr, Inspiral Carpets) as his tour manager. Track Records (original home of The Who and Jimi Hendrix) released Kids Fly Free in the UK on May 7. Lach was also featured on Antifolk Vol.1 (Rough Trade), compiled by The Moldy Peaches.
In 2004 Sanctuary Press released Waking Up In New York City: A Musical Tour of The Big Apple by Mike Evans[disambiguation needed], with an entire chapter devoted to Lach. Lach’s band Lach and The Secrets featuring Billy Ficca (Television) on drums and Roy Edroso (The Reverb Motherfuckers) on bass arrived in the UK March 3–11 for 8 shows in 8 nights including a show at The Basement Club organized by Strokes producer Gordon Raphael. Lach and The Secrets released their new album, Today to rave reviews (“Lach's Today- 4 Stars! Splendid! Best of it's kind!”- Mojo). Lach toured UK and France as a solo artist, performing 35 dates supporting Suzanne Vega, Television and The Fine Young Cannibals.
In 2006 Lach organized biggest Fortified Summer Antifolk Fest yet with a huge concert in Tompkins Square Park, an Antifolk parade and special guest set from Suzanne Vega. Lach toured the UK selling out shows in ten cities in ten nights including a fantastic Antifolk Fest at The Barfly in London featuring Lach headlining a show with 9 UK Antifolk acts.
In 2007 Lach signed with Primary UK Booking Agency, home of Oasis, Everything But The Girl, Lou Reed and The Monkees. Lach finished his 5th album The Calm Before recording once again with Billy Ficca, Richard Barone, Mike Visceglia (Suzanne Vega Band), Chris Barron (The Spin Doctors) and Lydia Ooghe (The Analogues) at Studio G in Brooklyn.
In 2008 Lach said goodbye to Sidewalk Café and his weekly Antihoot, with a subsequent documentary being release on YouTube. The Calm Before is released on Fortified and Lach tours the USA for the first time as well as the UK and Amsterdam. The album hits the College Charts and critical accolades, quickly becoming Fortified's best seller.
In 2010 Lach completed a new album, Ramshackle Heart which was recorded in the UK with Neil Halstead. Lach also took on running two nights a week (the Tuesday Antihoot and Wednesday's Lach Presents series) at the Webster Hall in NYC; New York's largest and most famous landmark nightclub. During this time Lach also became one of the most sought up stand-up comics in show biz. After debuting his one-man show The Day I Went Insane in the UK, Lach was discovered by BBC producer Richard Melvin and comedy producer Karen Koren (past clients include Eddie Izzard, Tim Minchin and Bill Bailey). He was then invited to headline The Edinburgh Fringe Festival's hottest venue, The Gilded Balloon where his show received five-star reviews from the festival press.
In 2011 – 2013 Ramshackle Heart was released on Scottish label Song, by Toad records. ("Ramshackle Heart is brilliant! 4 Stars!" – Mojo Magazine) ("Ramshackle Heart is dangerously fun!" – Uncut Magazine)
Lach moves to Edinburgh, a move documented on BBC Radio Scotland in a special entitled From New York to New Town. Lach continues to do The Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and 2012. Lach also tours the UK extensively including shows with Hamell on Trial, Michelle Shocked, Dean Friedman, The Spin Doctors and Florence and The Machine. Lach writes a book, The Day I Went Insane which is commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for a full series produced by Dabster Productions.
In 2013 Lach became executive producer of Edinburgh's Henry's Cellar Bar quickly turning it into the 'must play' joint in town with performances from Thomas Truax and Toby Goodshank (The Moldy Peaches). Mondays Antihoot Open Stage, Tuesdays Songwriter's Cellar and Wednesday's Antihoot Radio Night were born. Antihoot Radio Night featured a weekly radio sit-com written by Lach and featuring some of the top comics in Scotland such as Garry Dobson, Keira Murphy, Vladimir MacTavish and Gareth Waugh. Lach also created a new bi-monthly event entitled Dive! – a decadent, elegant queer party produced by Annabel Cooper and hosted by Miss Annabel Sings.
Lach's 2013 Edinburgh Fringe show Anticdotes was produced in conjunction with transgressive comedian Bob Slayer’s Heroes of The Fringe.
August 2013 sees the premier of BBC Radio 4’s The Lach Chronicles written and performed by Lach and produced by Edinburgh’s Dabster Productions. A weekly four part series featuring Lach’s songs, stories and comedy.
In 2014 Lach leaves Henry’s Cellar Bar and Dive takes up residency at Summerhall in Edinburgh. The BBC commission a second series of The Lach Chronicles to air in December 2014 and Desert Hearts publishing commission a book of poetry from Lach to be entitled The Thin Book of Poems for a 19 January 2015 release.
- Contender (1991) - 3/5 on AllMusic
- Blang! (1999)
- Kids Fly Free (2001)
- Today (2004) - "a gem of an album"
- The Calm Before (2008) - 3/5 on AllMusic
- Ramshackle Heart (2011) - 3/5 in The List
- Huey, Steve. "Biography: Lach". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Lach - Contender". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- Turner, Catherine. "Lach - Today". Music OMH. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- Raggett, Ned. "The Calm Before - Lach". All Music. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- Pollock, David (13 June 2011). "Lach Ramshackle Heart". The List (Edinburgh/Glasgow).