I live in Salford. I go to gigs. I write about the gigs. And other stuff...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Hot Hot Heat, Manchester Ritz, 28th April 2005

Expectations were low for this one. And with good reason, as it turned out.

The Fever got us off to a bad start with their forgettable brand of dancey garage rock. I didn't suspect that things could get much worse, but they did. The Departure dress predominantly in black, save for the neckerchiefs (more of which later), and peddle an increasingly familiar brand of glum, early 80's influenced indie rock (cf. the much more impressive Editors). It's depressing stuff but for all the wrong reasons. The songs are dull, passionless, redundant homages to the likes of Suede, Echo And The Bunnymen, U2 and Interpol (the bass player even wears braces à la Carlos D). The singer is as uncharismatic and unconvincing as any I've seen for a long time. They make The Bravery look like The Arcade Fire.

And what's the thing with neckerchiefs these days? Dogs, Razorlight, Libertines and now this: the singer's is a blue and white polka dot affair which hangs from his back pocket like a big hankie and which he eventually takes out and wraps around his microphone as if wiping off fingerprints before the taste police arrive to charge him with crimes against indie. The frankly scary-looking guitarist sports a red and white number which part obscures his newly bought, I'm-down-with-you-Mancs, "Queen Is Dead" t-shirt. In short, they look really fuckin stupid.

Anyway, Hot Hot Heat are up next. Surely things will get better? Thus far this band has managed to pass below my radar. I know they're from Canada, a hotbed of new indie talent; I've heard "Bandages" but not listened intently enough to form an opinion of it; and Mrs Ledge once said that they sounded a bit like The Cure. They start off ok with the lead singer a manic presence behind his keyboards and the rest of the band letting him get on with it, reluctant to display the sort energy that their high energy songs suggest they should. About four songs in they reach their peak with "Ladies And Gentlemen" from their new album Elevator but from then on it's downhill all the way. There's no let up in tempo and the singer's yelping/whining voice begins to grate and annoy (the fact that he looks like John Power from the excruciatingly awful Cast doesn't help matters). Each song becomes indistinguishable from the last. I get really bored. "Bandages" is played at the end. I listen intently. It's crap. The encore is mercifully brief. I never want to see any of these bands again. Ever.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mrs. Ledge said...

I never said Hot Hot Heat sounded like the Cure. That was somebody else. In fact, what I think I said was that I could see why people compared the Bravery to the Cure because the poseur lead singer occasionally sounds a bit like Robert Smith.

Sat May 07, 05:54:00 pm

 

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