18 Mar 2009

Hot Leg, Islington Academy, London

+ posted by FlamingWhopper

Even by pop’s volatile standards, Justin Hawkins’ downfall was brutally swift. Five years ago, the unitard-clad singer was riding high with his tongue-in-cheek hard rock band The Darkness, winning Brit Awards and selling 1.5m copies in the UK alone of debut album Permission to Land.

Then the bubble burst. A follow-up album flopped, Hawkins contracted a £150,000 cocaine habit, and the band split. “I hit rock bottom,” the rehabbed singer confessed in 2006 – though a worse indignity came when his attempt to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision song contest was rejected. “We don’t talk about that,” he said in a sheepish tone recently. Still, Hawkins is nothing if not indomitable. The man whose ambition once was to be fired as a human cannonball in Wembley Stadium is back in action with new band Hot Leg, swapping arenas for poky venues plastered in posters advertising theme nights with names such as I Love the 1990s and Club de Fromage.

Failure hasn’t dented Hawkins’ faith in the power of pastiche rock. Hot Leg are basically The Darkness redux. Flanked by bandmates with big hair and glammy outfits, Hawkins was resplendent in a leather catsuit and huge poodle-rock coiffure, whose supernova of permed curls suggested, à la Norma Desmond, that the stages had got smaller, not him.

From the drum solo in the opening song, no rock cliché was left unturned. High-fives for the guitarist after an elaborate solo; Hawkins’ warbling falsetto; his triumphant tour of the venue sitting on a roadie’s shoulders while playing guitar.

Shunning Darkness songs, the set drew on Hot Leg’s debut album Red Light Fever. Boogying riffs accurately captured both the swagger and absurdity of Sunset Strip cock-rockers such as Mötley Crüe. Pomp rock references abounded, with “Chickens” taking Queen’s symphonic guitars and operatic vocals to hysterical extremes.

Monstrous power ballads portraying Hawkins as a clown who cries inside (“Here on the floor/There’s nowhere else to fall”) were a dampener, and fillers such as “Gay in the 80s” proved less flamboyant than the lyrics suggested. Yet his showmanship was irrepressible. A return to Darkness-style success will surely elude him (Red Light Fever, he dryly noted, “steamed into the charts at number 81”) – but, someone, anyone, please give that man another crack at Eurovision.

Credit: www.ft.com
Follow Justin Hawkins on Twitter

Reassuring vet display. Link
2614 days ago

RT @etvapos: @DrBrianMay and @why don't you follow each other!? ;)
2616 days ago

Wowzers, Madrid folk really know how to make you feel welcome. This was a fun show. Right, home time for me :)
2616 days ago

RT @AlClarkofficial: Big cup game today, lovely weather for it. @jimbohuz @justinhawkins #NHTIFD
2617 days ago

@railcomjon soon, Jon, soon. 3 more shows and I get a little break. NHTIFD!!
2617 days ago

Ads

New Album - Red Light Fever OUT NOW

Flickr Photostream

www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from Flaming Whopper. Make your own badge here.

Archive

June 2011 (2 posts)
November 2010 (2 posts)
June 2010 (13 posts)
May 2010 (14 posts)
April 2010 (4 posts)
March 2010 (5 posts)
February 2010 (10 posts)
January 2010 (11 posts)
January 2010 (2 posts)
December 2009 (17 posts)
October 2009 (13 posts)
October 2009 (3 posts)
August 2009 (5 posts)
August 2009 (10 posts)
July 2009 (16 posts)
June 2009 (18 posts)
May 2009 (13 posts)
April 2009 (20 posts)
March 2009 (53 posts)
February 2009 (39 posts)
January 2009 (32 posts)
December 2008 (32 posts)
November 2008 (23 posts)
October 2008 (23 posts)
September 2008 (37 posts)
August 2008 (56 posts)
July 2008 (47 posts)
June 2008 (63 posts)
May 2008 (26 posts)
April 2008 (24 posts)
March 2008 (19 posts)
February 2008 (36 posts)
January 2008 (9 posts)
December 2007 (3 posts)
November 2007 (8 posts)
October 2007 (3 posts)
September 2007 (4 posts)
August 2007 (3 posts)
July 2007 (2 posts)
April 2007 (7 posts)
March 2007 (8 posts)
February 2007 (2 posts)
January 2007 (8 posts)
December 2006 (8 posts)
November 2006 (3 posts)
October 2006 (2 posts)
September 2006 (9 posts)
August 2006 (11 posts)
July 2006 (4 posts)
June 2006 (11 posts)
May 2006 (15 posts)
April 2006 (24 posts)
March 2006 (19 posts)
February 2006 (27 posts)
January 2006 (36 posts)
December 2005 (45 posts)
November 2005 (39 posts)

Affliates

The Darkness PortugalAngel Of MetalBubblegum Slut - FanzineJustin Hawkins RocksJustin and Dan HawkinsSezzles Online