Hot Snakes. The Cluny, Newcastle. 11-12-2011

December 15, 2011

Whenever a band ‘reunites’, I always wonder about the motive. I wonder what it is that has made them decide that cause for the original break up was no longer necessary. There are thousands of reason bands split up, but at the end of the day there has to be some specific reason that they do it. For a band to get back together, they must overcome that. I guess some do it for financial gain. That one reunion tour to scrape up some cash from the die hard fans. I suppose some do it to further extend their artistic output. To put out that one record that they never managed to materialise in their previous incarnation. I also like to think that some do it for the love of doing it, the self satisfaction gained from playing in that particular band. I definitely think that Hot Snakes come under that last description.

After breaking up in 2005, Hot Snakes are back. Originally just to play at the ATP festival, they added some extra dates in order to make a ‘reunion tour’ of sorts. Luckily for me, one of said dates was in Newcastle. Now this is a band I have the utmost respect for so it’s fair to say that I was quite excited.

I arrived slightly late to the gig, missing support band The Computers but from what I’ve heard I didn’t really miss much. In all fairness though, I wasn’t there to see them so I didn’t let it bother me for very long at all. As Hot Snakes take to the stage, I’m left standing in awe. The sheer musical talent that presents itself on stage is amazing and bewildering. Without even mentioning the plethora of bands that the individual members have been involved with, there still a mountain of respect present purely for Hot Snakes.

Without much hesitation the band launch straight into ‘I Hate The Kids’ explaining that they are ‘starting things slow’. Yeah, it’s not their fastest song but it definitely was not what I would describe as slow. From then on, they hardly take a second to rest. A couple of short stops to re tune and catch their breath then straight back into it again. The rate at which they blast out their songs is phenomenal. The sheer energy of this band is astounding. It’s not only the energy that their songs possess, but also the energy of the band itself. They play as fast and as hard as they possibly can. Playing tracks from all three albums, it felt like they play a ‘best of’ show. However, with a band that have had such a consistently solid output it will be very difficult to play a show consisting of their best songs.

They take a short break (or encore) and come back to give us more. Not letting up for a second, they power through putting their heart and soul into every single track. I must say they truly lived up to the ‘down stroke warlords’ name that they have donned over the years. The sheer passion and stamina that they present is extraordinary. They are such an inspiration and they are a band that everyone should take note of. They are a band that do things for the music, however cliché that may sound. It’s the passion and dedication for music that makes this band, and it’s members, something to truly go down in history inspirational.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Rick Froberg in the Head of Steam later that night and I must say what a genuinely friendly person he is. I just hope that this isn’t the last we hear of Hot Snakes and also cant help but wonder where their next musical venture will take us.

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