hot water music
Location: Karlsruhe (Germany), Substage
Date: Thursday, June 14th 2001
Here’s how I got to know Hot Water Music’s sound: Right after the release of their ‘No division’ album a friend of mine taped me this record on one side, and ‘Something to write home about’ by the Get up Kids on the other one. I immediately fell in love with the Get up Kids. But not with Hot Water Music. Well, I liked their music a lot, but I then thought that the vocals were too rough. On May 13th 2000 I saw a show of the Gainesville four piece in a tiny club. I thought before the show that I should go there because it was a Saturday evening and I had nothing better to do. How little did I know back then. If you have already read my review of this particular show on this site then you know what effect it had on me. What I saw back then was impossible to describe. Two words: Pure energy. And that’s not even close to how tight Hot Water Music were on stage. After the show I loved the band. And I loved their music.
One year has passed since then, I listened to their albums and 7”s, and they are great. Now I don’t want to miss the rough vocals by Chuck and Chris, they’re fitting perfectly to the band’s sound. You see how opinions can change…
On June 14th Hot Water Music were once again on tour in Germany. The only bad thing before this evening was that Boy Sets Fire were playing in a club in a different city not too far away. But some friends and me decided to go see Hot Water Music, and I guess we made the right choice (not to lower Boy Sets Fire and their abilities on stage that impressed me a lot some time ago).
We arrived in Karlsruhe around 7 pm and visited some friend of ours (hey Steffen!). It turned out that he lived about five minutes away from the club, so we could easily take a walk there. I had not been to this club before, but as the name depicts it was a former subway entrance. We went there around 8.15 pm, got in and waited for the start of the show.
Amulet from Norway were the first act this night. They played hardcore that reminded me to the Cro-Mags at times (and their singer looked a bit like the one of the Suicidal Tendencies). Not bad, but not that compelling. At the end of their 30 minute set they played a Turbonegro cover, because they’re on this Turbonegro Tribute album (and maybe ‘cause the denim demons came from Norway, too). For this song, back up vocals were done by some of the Hot Water Music guys).
I was curious which band would be next, because I heard that on previous nights of this tour Hot Water Music and Leatherface had switched the headlining position. But when three guys stumbled on stage and started without introducing themselves it was clear that Leatherface were rocking out. I like their last record ‘Horsebox’ a lot, and live they could convince me as well. The audience (I guess there were about 300 hundred people in the club, but it could have been more) was moving not that much, but Frankie Stubbs and his friends didn’t care and played without speaking one word apart from the vocals. During the last couple of songs they were supported on the second guitar by no other than Chris Wollard from the mighty Hot Water Music. People were moving more by now and so Leatherface had to do an encore. Good show by a band that has one of the most original singers (even though one guy in the audience asked who that screaming old man on stage would be…).
And then… Hot Water Music. At first I thought that the audience had changed without me noticing, because from the first song there was lots of dancing and surfing going on. Chuck, Chris, Jason and George entered the stage, and Chuck apologized for a stupid barricade that was set up in front of the stage, but he said that they couldn’t do anything. Well the fans didn’t care as Hot Water Music started with ‘A flight and a crash’, the title track from their new record. The second song was one of my favourites, ‘Turnstile’ from the album ‘Fuel for the hate game’ (you know ‘I must always remember, there’s no point to surrender’, yeah!). You could feel the immense energy that was coming off of the stage. I mean these four guys are just incredible musicians, they’re whirling around but still being able to play their songs without mistake. There’s no way to find the right words to describe this fantastic gig. After they returned for the first few encores, they also did a cover of a Turbonegro song, and this time they were vocally supported by the Amulet guys who did some stagediving during this song. During the very last song, Leatherface and Hot Water Music played a song together (I guess this was a Leatherface track) with Frankie singing. George, Hot Water Music’s drummer, stood right beside me during this song. Boy was I proud, hehe.
To come to a conclusion: Great bands, great show. Pure energy. Hey, didn’t I say that before and didn’t I always say so ;-)