The Hot Sprockets gig – Vicar Street 21.12.14
Come here ’til I tell yez…there was a rip roaring party in Vicar Street last night. The Xmas night of the Yuletide season in Dublin took place and I would imagine the authorities were calling in roofers to Vicar Street this morning to check out the wreckage done to its roof slates. The wreckage in my ears right now is quite possibly related to the next stage in my decline into old age, the onslaught of tinnitus, however I suspect the condition of it was exacerbated by the fiercely, fast paced live sound of the Hot Sprockets last night. But I don’t care. That’s rock ‘n roll for you baby and boy was I hailed coming home from the gig as “the queen of picking the bands” by my plus one. He bought the tee-shirt on the way out the door and handed it to me saying “Here. Fair play to ya. Christ!”
The night started off for us when we caught The Eskies segment which were the perfect lead on to the Hot Sprockets. Giving Shani Willis a run for her money The Eskies had us swinging from the rafters quicker than you could sing Oom-pah Pah. The bearded men in the audience joining in chorus to Down By the River, Fever, the recent release Jesus Don’t Save Me and Jailhouse Sun. The Eskies put in an absolute smashing performance. Their style of play, charismatic engagement with the audience, shoulder biting displays of affection, cheeky background visuals and downright, damn fine musicians had the crowd exactly where the Hot Sprockets would have liked us to have been, on our starting blocks, engines nicely running and adrenaline sharp and ready to rev.
A quick run to the loo, the bar and we were back in fine fettle for a Formula One style changeover between the bands. The Hot Sprockets walked quickly onstage, suited up in no time and immediately dropped the flag on the action and Holy Shee-ite was there steam and power firing from band to audience and back again. From the first to the final lap it was a truly outstanding gig and an amazing feeling of experiencing something really great in a step back in time fashion to 70s blues rock and rock ‘n roll but without sounding too retro. These guys are top class. What it is, they have it. What it takes, they’ve got it.
Kicking it off with Show Me the Weight from their recent second album Brother Nature and playing tunes from their first, Honey Skippin’, the drummer was for me out of the top drawer and drove the guys from track to track in a Stereophonics style of play I saw in The Point in 2005. The guitars, aw man the guitars, the presence, the vocals, the attire, the look and feel of this band, the backing singers, the background visuals, the atmosphere, the energy, the tunes….ohhhh the tunes and not a weak one amongst them. It was electric and gig porn at its best, enticing my senses, teasing my eyes and pleasuring my ears. I was dazed in a haze of sheer musical brilliance and they got me. Oh boy they got me.
When Heavy On My Mind came on my fellow bearded men nodded in acknowledgment of my “Awwwwww yyyyyeahhhh” comment. It was then that I decided to write this, “Dear Paul (Manager of the Hot Sprockets), it is now time to change the lads’ occupation on their passports from musicians to ROCKSTARS”.
We were treated to new material from their EP, Licks from the Vault and here is their very recent release from it, Head Over Heels. The visuals of their live performance during it, is a perfect reflection of the gig I witnessed last night.
These guys come into their own when performing live. They have a razor sharp edge and an ability to enthrall you beyond the norm and I will see them play live again next year, oh that I will.
To The Hot Sprockets, “Holy Mary, Mother of Perpetual Succour! I salute you and thank you for an amazing night at Vicar Street”.
To The Eskies, “Up the Parish, yeeeeeooowwww”.
Review by Nicola Timmons