26 Aug 2008

AltNation: Glasgow King Tuts Review

+ posted by Sez

I probably should confess early doors that I’m a huge admirer of the spandex clad rock beast that is Mr Justin Hawkins. As front man of The Darkness, he laughed in the face of fashion and sensibility, daring to bring fun and showmanship back into rock music. While many “serious” music writers wrote off the man from Lowestoft as being gimmicky with fleeting appeal, The Darkness defied by finding an audience with who lapped up the well written songs and energetic live shows. For those too young to remember the days of perm-based debauchery, The Darkness provided the perfect reminder as to the fun and enjoyment that runs throughout the history of rock and roll. And let’s be honest: a man who wears spandex jumpsuits isn’t going to listen to what’s “sensible” now, is he?

Two years after the members of that particular quartet went their separate ways come Hawkins’ new venture, Hot Leg. Described as an “entirely hairier beast”, Hot Leg appear to trade on the same principles that made The Darkness such damn good fun. Altnation caught up with the guys of the final date of their August mini-tour, at the legendary King Tuts…

From the start it’s clear that none of Hawkins‘ trademark stage lunacy has been diluted for this new venture. We Are Hot Leg proclaims the first energetic number of the night, as the crowd pack tighter against the barrier. As the band run through some new material (the excellent Heroes and soon to be released Trojan Guitar) it’s immediately obvious that Hot Leg are a serious musical force and anything but a backing band for a Justin solo project. The notoriously difficult “other guitar player” job is filled by Pete Rinaldi, who wastes no time in demonstrating that he can easily knock out a jaw dropping lick or two. Samuel Stokes and Darby Todd on Bass and Drums respectively complete the line-up, who by three songs in are showing what an incredibly tight unit they are.

It’s clear that some time has been spent fettling the new Hot Leg sound, which is the perfect balance between out and out rock aggression and polished arrangement. The three string-wielding members of the band all show off an impressive vocal range and combine superbly to add a vocal harmony dimension to the band that is both refreshing and impressive. There are synchronised jumps, dances and poses which somehow work in the greater context of the show. Whilst it would be easy to write Hot Leg off as cliché, it’s evident that they’ve spent a great deal of time putting together a rock show which blends the aural and visual. There’s always something happening, and the audience loves it. This band have correctly spotted a gap in the current musical landscape for a band who can take all the great rock traditions of the past and present them again for both a new and seasoned rock audience to enjoy unashamedly.

By this point in the evening my journalistic integrity has vanished and the notebook is lying in a puddle of someone else’s beer. I’m totally involved in what’s going on up on the stage, as each band member commands attention. A first tour prior to an album release is always going to be difficult but the Glasgow audience are enjoying the occasion nonetheless.

In a change of pace, a few covers are thrown into the mix. As if versions of The Power of Love aren’t enough (yes, they do both the Jennifer Rush and Huey Lewis 1985 pop classics), Justin Hawkins becomes possibly the first man in living memory to perform Tina Turner’s Simply The Best in a Glasgow pub and walk out alive. The audience firmly on side, we are treated to the old Darkness classic I Believe In A Thing Called Love which quite rightly brings the house down. Those who choose to argue whether Justin Hawkins and his band of denim clad companions have any musical validity or staying power are missing the point of the band: it’s about band and audience having a great time and feeding off each other. Hot Leg bring back something that’s lacking in music, long may the hairy beast continue to rampage upon our stages.

The Hot Leg single Trojan Guitar is set for release in October 2008 on Barbeque Rock records.

http://www.myspace.com/teamhotlegI probably should confess early doors that I’m a huge admirer of the spandex clad rock beast that is Mr Justin Hawkins. As front man of The Darkness, he laughed in the face of fashion and sensibility, daring to bring fun and showmanship back into rock music. While many “serious” music writers wrote off the man from Lowestoft as being gimmicky with fleeting appeal, The Darkness defied by finding an audience with who lapped up the well written songs and energetic live shows. For those too young to remember the days of perm-based debauchery, The Darkness provided the perfect reminder as to the fun and enjoyment that runs throughout the history of rock and roll. And let’s be honest: a man who wears spandex jumpsuits isn’t going to listen to what’s “sensible” now, is he?

Two years after the members of that particular quartet went their separate ways come Hawkins’ new venture, Hot Leg. Described as an “entirely hairier beast”, Hot Leg appear to trade on the same principles that made The Darkness such damn good fun. Altnation caught up with the guys of the final date of their August mini-tour, at the legendary King Tuts…

From the start it’s clear that none of Hawkins‘ trademark stage lunacy has been diluted for this new venture. We Are Hot Leg proclaims the first energetic number of the night, as the crowd pack tighter against the barrier. As the band run through some new material (the excellent Heroes and soon to be released Trojan Guitar) it’s immediately obvious that Hot Leg are a serious musical force and anything but a backing band for a Justin solo project. The notoriously difficult “other guitar player” job is filled by Pete Rinaldi, who wastes no time in demonstrating that he can easily knock out a jaw dropping lick or two. Samuel Stokes and Darby Todd on Bass and Drums respectively complete the line-up, who by three songs in are showing what an incredibly tight unit they are.

It’s clear that some time has been spent fettling the new Hot Leg sound, which is the perfect balance between out and out rock aggression and polished arrangement. The three string-wielding members of the band all show off an impressive vocal range and combine superbly to add a vocal harmony dimension to the band that is both refreshing and impressive. There are synchronised jumps, dances and poses which somehow work in the greater context of the show. Whilst it would be easy to write Hot Leg off as cliché, it’s evident that they’ve spent a great deal of time putting together a rock show which blends the aural and visual. There’s always something happening, and the audience loves it. This band have correctly spotted a gap in the current musical landscape for a band who can take all the great rock traditions of the past and present them again for both a new and seasoned rock audience to enjoy unashamedly.

By this point in the evening my journalistic integrity has vanished and the notebook is lying in a puddle of someone else’s beer. I’m totally involved in what’s going on up on the stage, as each band member commands attention. A first tour prior to an album release is always going to be difficult but the Glasgow audience are enjoying the occasion nonetheless.

In a change of pace, a few covers are thrown into the mix. As if versions of The Power of Love aren’t enough (yes, they do both the Jennifer Rush and Huey Lewis 1985 pop classics), Justin Hawkins becomes possibly the first man in living memory to perform Tina Turner’s Simply The Best in a Glasgow pub and walk out alive. The audience firmly on side, we are treated to the old Darkness classic I Believe In A Thing Called Love which quite rightly brings the house down. Those who choose to argue whether Justin Hawkins and his band of denim clad companions have any musical validity or staying power are missing the point of the band: it’s about band and audience having a great time and feeding off each other. Hot Leg bring back something that’s lacking in music, long may the hairy beast continue to rampage upon our stages.

The Hot Leg single Trojan Guitar is set for release in October 2008 on Barbeque Rock records.

http://www.myspace.com/teamhotleg

Credit www.altnation.com
Follow Justin Hawkins on Twitter

Reassuring vet display. Link
2171 days ago

RT @etvapos: @DrBrianMay and @why don't you follow each other!? ;)
2172 days ago

Wowzers, Madrid folk really know how to make you feel welcome. This was a fun show. Right, home time for me :)
2172 days ago

RT @AlClarkofficial: Big cup game today, lovely weather for it. @jimbohuz @justinhawkins #NHTIFD
2173 days ago

@railcomjon soon, Jon, soon. 3 more shows and I get a little break. NHTIFD!!
2174 days ago

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