Hot Snakes - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Hot Snakes - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:
Hot Snakes - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Hot Snakes - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

January can be a pretty tough month. The temporary buzz of Christmas seems like a distant memory and the promise of snow has been replaced by drizzle and a sky that appears almost permanently grey. I’m not one hundred per cent sure but I’m fairly certain that the weather is somewhat different in San Diego, the home of everyone’s favourite punk ‘n’ roll outfit Hot Snakes. Thankfully, the relentlessly energetic Californian’s are here to provide us with a much needed hit of vitamin D. The sun is nowhere to be seen but things are about to get pretty sweaty.

Before Hot Snakes can set the room on fire (metaphorically speaking) we’re suitably warmed up by two excellent support acts. First up, we get a set from Surface Waves. A 4-piece with previous experience in a number of Leeds based acts, including Buzzkill and Two Trick Horse, the bands energetic set slips down a treat. They’ve clearly picked up a trick or two from Hot Snakes and Rocket from the Crypt along the way, indulging us in some swaggering Speedo-indebted rock ‘n’ roll.

Things get a whole lot angrier with the arrival Young Conservatives. Vocalist Andy Bryant jokingly tells us that “They’re used to mild indifference so bring it on!” as the band launch into a set of vitriolic and politically charged hardcore. Bryant is keen to point out early on, for those that don’t understand irony, that the band is neither particularly young nor Conservative. Heavy and aggressive for all the right reasons, it’s a raw and suitably urgent set. They earn themselves some extra music geek points (in my book at least) as the drummer’s wearing a Rudimentary Peni t-shirt.

Formed by Rick Froberg and John ‘Speedo’ Reiss back in 1999 it’s hard to believe that Hot Snakes has been going for so long. The soon-to-be-released Jericho Sirens will however be the band’s first studio album in a whopping 14 years. Reiss and Froberg have, of course, kept themselves busy with a number of different projects but there will always be something uniquely exciting about Hot Snakes.

I was lucky enough to see them here at the Brudenell years ago and it seems like I’ve waited a long time for them to come back. Once on stage they launch into frantic new number ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and suddenly it’s like they’ve never been away. When they follow this with personal favourite ‘Who Died’ I’m ecstatic. Froberg’s voice is as raw as ever, the songs every bit as urgent as you’d expect. This is heart-racing, sweaty rock ‘n’ roll at its best and we’re only two songs in.

There’s a decent number of cuts from 2002 bona-a-fide punk classic Suicide Invoice with the likes of ‘LAX’ and a particularly thunderous ‘I Hate the Kids’ helping to lead the charge. The guitars are utterly furious while the general pace is so unrelenting that they switch drummers halfway through. The seemingly bottomless energy is undeniably impressive while the songs sound as fresh as the day I first heard them. There’s a reason Hot Snakes have managed to stick around so long; they’re a really fantastic band.

Speedo has worked himself into an impressive sweat, all these years later and Reiss is still utterly possessed by the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. In fact the whole band looks like they’re having a great time, laughing and joking between songs and clearly enjoying it as much as we are. Later on I’m hollering along to ‘This Mystic Decade’ with a huge grin on my face. A frazzled and celebratory performance and the most fun I’ve had all month.





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