Lach is a musician associated with the Anti-folk movement.
As a songwriter Lach founded the Antifolk art and music movement, which is cited 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 released six albums, as well as 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 1980s, 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 City 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 Lach and other 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, 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 2005 Lach toured the UK to sold-out performances including five dates sharing the bill with The Casbah Club (featuring members of The Jam, The Who, and Big Country).
In 2006 Lach organized the 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, New York's longest running open mic ("A Manhattan Institution"-The NY Times). A subsequent documentary on Lach's farewell was filmed YouTube. The Calm Before was released on Fortified Records and Lach toured the USA for the first time as well as the UK and Amsterdam. The album hit the College Charts and critical accolades, quickly becoming Fortified's best seller.
In 2009 Lach toured the UK with British songwriting legend Neil Halstead (Slowdive and Mojave 3).
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. Lach subsequently took on the role of executive producer of the venue. During this time Lach also became one of the most sought after 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 venue, The Gilded Balloon where his show received five-star reviews from the festival press. " 5 Stars! Really quite magical! " -
In 2011 – 2013 Ramshackle Heart was released on Scottish label, Song by Toad records. (Ramshackle Heart is brilliant! 4 Stars!" – ) ("Ramshackle Heart is dangerously fun!" – )
Lach moved to Edinburgh, a move documented on BBC Radio Scotland in a special entitled From New York to New Town. Lach continued to do The Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and 2012. Lach also toured the UK extensively including shows with Hamell on Trial, Michelle Shocked, Dean Friedman, The Spin Doctors and Florence and The Machine. Lach wrote a book, The Day I Went Insane which was then 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 revamping the look and style of the venue and programming performances from such stars as Thomas Truax and Toby Goodshank (The Moldy Peaches). At the venue, Lach also started the Mondays Antihoot Open Stage, Tuesdays Songwriter's Cellar and Wednesday's Antihoot Radio Night. 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.
In August 2013 BBC Radio 4’ premiered 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 left Henry’s Cellar Bar and Dive took up residency at Summerhall in Edinburgh. The BBC commissioned a second series of The Lach Chronicles and it was broadcast in December 2014 receiving Radio Pick Hit in The Times, The Telegraph, The Observer and Radio Times. Desert Hearts publishing commissioned a book of poetry from Lach entitled The Thin Book of Poems for a 19 January 2015 release.
In 2015, Lach toured the UK with Spin Doctors frontman Chris Barron. Desert Hearts Publishing released Lach's "The Thin Book of Poems" and Lach toured the UK reading selections from the book in bookstores during the day and playing the local music venues at night.
In 2016 BBC radio 4 commissioned a third series of The Lach Chronicles to be aired in June. Lach was named creative director of The New Wee Theatre which will present performances at The New Town Theatre as part of The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016.