07 Mar 2009

Hot Leg, Cabaret Voltaire

+ posted by FlamingWhopper

Hot Leg **,
Cabaret Voltaire

MUSIC can be a cruel business sometimes. Don't think so? Just ask Justin Hawkins. A few years ago the former frontman for The Darkness could do no wrong: MTV awards, gold and platinum albums, a headline appearance at the Reading festival, even the South Bank Show dedicated an episode to Hawkins and his retro-rockin' cohorts. But my, how Hawkins' fortunes have changed.
Following well publicised alcohol and drug problems, and a hasty departure from his million-selling band, Hawkins has taken up from where he left off playing the same sort of poodle-haired, glam-rock his former band were renowned for.

The only difference is no-one really cares anymore.

OK, that's not strictly true; some do. It's just the amount of people turning up to his gigs has gone from several thousand to, well, around 250 or so.

Those who have remained loyal to Hawkins' cheesy brand of metal, however, were in fine voice last night as they welcomed the singer's new band, Hot Leg, to Cabaret Voltaire.

Slinking onto the stage with more pose than a catwalk of models, Hot Leg are, essentially, The Darkness part two. Hawkins still sings in an irritating falsetto, there's still the same dumb song titles (I've Met Jesus, Gay In The 80s, etc), and there's still the same dumb guitar riffs, too. They're OK, but you get the feeling you've heard them all before, only by other, genuinely more talented bands. Indeed, one of Hot Leg's best received tunes on the night the squawking Chickens is disturbingly similar to AC/DC's Sin City, not that the audience minded, or even noticed.

Made up (mainly) of spotty teenagers in black T-shirts, you can't fault their enthusiasm: whooping, clapping, and singing along just like trained seals. Had those of us, struggling for a glimpse at the back, managed to get down near the scrum at the front, it would surely have been churlish not to join in.

Following some rampant power chords and several pelvic thrusts later, the mood kind of dipped mid-way through the set, as the band limped from one power ballad to the next. Suddenly you felt you were attending a Def Leppard concert, but that was until Cocktails came swinging round to knock you in the head like some bulldozer wrecking ball. Stunned, the band left the stage soon afterward, before swiftly returning for a half-hour encore.

By now, Hawkins had swapped his tight trousers for some tennis clothing more commonly associated with Bjorn Borg (circa 1980). Minutes later he stripped down to a naked torso, and, with his tattoos almost slipping onto the floor, the 33-year-old proceeded to lead the audience in a call-and-response chant about what else? male genitalia, of course.

And that just about sums up Hawkins and Hot Leg a dumb, ironic homage to 80s metal aimed squarely at young teenagers who think drawing rude images and writing swear words on school text books is funny. Hot leg? Hot a joke more like.

Credit: BARRY GORDON | news.scotsman.com
Follow Justin Hawkins on Twitter

Reassuring vet display. Link
2562 days ago

RT @etvapos: @DrBrianMay and @why don't you follow each other!? ;)
2564 days ago

Wowzers, Madrid folk really know how to make you feel welcome. This was a fun show. Right, home time for me :)
2564 days ago

RT @AlClarkofficial: Big cup game today, lovely weather for it. @jimbohuz @justinhawkins #NHTIFD
2564 days ago

@railcomjon soon, Jon, soon. 3 more shows and I get a little break. NHTIFD!!
2565 days ago

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