Hotpants Romance - The Chemic Tavern, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Hotpants Romance - The Chemic Tavern, Leeds

by Al Brown Rating: Release Date:

Hotpants Romance are a fucking shambles in the best possible way. If you're the kind of person who thinks just because a band have been together for a few years they should be able to play their instruments or sing in tune they are probably not for you. The gig really got me thinking about that hoary old attitude vs. musicianship debate whose zenith arguably came when 'Whispering' Bob Harris called a blistering New York Dolls performance 'mock rock' on The Old Grey Whistle Test. This is all slightly tangential but I read an interview with the band Mazes recently in which the singer professed his utter boredom at the most elementary routines of the gigging band. He said he hated "working" on songs and they rarely rehearsed because the drummer didn't like to. He said most of the recordings they made were the first time they had played the song together, because playing it lots of times to try and get a perfect take is dull. It might sound ridiculous, but the jist of the whole thing - that being in a band should be FUN above all else - really struck a chord with me.

Hotpants are the epitome of a band doing it for fun. You have never before seen a band smile so much on a stage. And I know that there are other bands who genuinely enjoy performing and don't mind letting it show, but I bet they also care about their next paycheck or impressing people too. I have never got the impression that HR care about anything other than playing the next song. And when you have songs like they have, it makes sense. The girls unleash a couple of 2-minute classics straight off the bat: 'Sugar Dip' is as hyper and thrashy as the title suggests; 'Hotpants No Chance', likewise, a hilariously blunt rebuttal to a less-than-appealing suitor. The new songs are a total riot of bum notes and off-key hollering, but played with so much joy you barely notice: 'Just Because You've Got OCD' is classic, primal two-minute rock'n'roll just like you'd expect - check the video on YouTube of them playing it in the Sheila's Wheels car.

Hotpants' songs are wickedly simple but they fit so much into a few short lines. From the hilarious possessiveness of 'Stop Escapin' ("Running away isn't the answer/ Stop escaping you know I'll catch ya!") to the juvenile-but-strangely-life-affirming 'Paul' it's like they have the whole spectrum of human emotion covered in their own inimitable way. There's a lot of bands around now aping that classic early-60s girl group sound, and usually hiding behind a metric fuckload of reverb, which is all well and good. But Hotpants play it straight with funny, truthful lyrics that are sung loud and proud instead of buried, and an aura of sheer fun that guarantees a good time for band an audience alike.

Comments (5)

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Yes! I hate Bob Harris! I think it's really telling that while John Peel looked like Santa Claus Bob Harris, looks like the Grinch.

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I listen to him on 6music sometimes and he actually comes across as quite affable and plays some good choons but I still think of him as a nasty prog-liking tool most of the time. I believe it's cool to be open minded about prog these days but I...

I listen to him on 6music sometimes and he actually comes across as quite affable and plays some good choons but I still think of him as a nasty prog-liking tool most of the time. I believe it's cool to be open minded about prog these days but I can't do it. People keep recommending King Crimson but I fear a certain mutual housemate ruined them for me.

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If you do wanna check out some decent prog, I'd suggest Gong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvYNb67B5dQ. They had a sense of humour about the whole thing. Or just listen to 70s Krautrock, which is basically prog done right. In fact, European...

If you do wanna check out some decent prog, I'd suggest Gong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvYNb67B5dQ. They had a sense of humour about the whole thing. Or just listen to 70s Krautrock, which is basically prog done right. In fact, European prog bands like Goblin were usually loads better than British or US prog bands.

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That's pretty killer. I'm a convert.

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Radical, man.

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