The Hot Sprockets at The Button Factory – Review & Photos
The Hot Sprockets at The Button Factory – June 7th
Hot Sprocketing. It’s a new word. A verb meaning “to rock, sing, sweat, shimmy and shake in a funked up festival atmosphere. Usually high in tempo and high in temperature.”
It’s a sold out Saturday night at The Button Factory. The venue’s swollen with Hot Sprocketers, keenly awaiting the arrival of their leaders. To a non Sprocketer, they appear as a dapper quintet of eccentric Carney folk. Sixties beards, seventies leather, eighties blouses and a timeless swagger indicate the musical adventures we are about to encounter.
Cowboy and indian evocative twangs start the slow burning “Quarter Roam“, easing and teasing the audience into the first leg of their journey. Next up the smokey bluesy “Bad Jim”. Hip shakin’, mandolin laden and flavoured from the southern delta of their Honey Skippin’ LP. Showreeling flashes of cartoon comedy boobs make the skyline for heavier rockier flavoured “Show Me The Weight” and “Woman and Chile”. From here on out it could be a greatest hits gig.
Lashing it out to the fans, “Cruisin“ is soaked up like the sweat currently dripping down the backs of the band. Familiar as the “AIB” advert music, for once a bank has something decent to show for the bailout. Slipping in the old bit of sales banter for the new album “Brother Nature“ ( hint – the HMV stand and numerous merchandise) Wayne Soper is quite the travelling salesman. A call out to “Old Skool Sprockets“ and a welcome to “New Skool Sprockets” preludes the vintage “Sleep Shake“ from Honey Skippin. A gentle intro, folky and cute lures the listener into a false sense of lullaby before the repeated layers and verse grab it by the balls into a rocked up crescendo. Riddled with yeehawwws and calls to “Shake it out“ this is the full fat live version.
A chilled out atmosphere next with “Worried Kind” and the slower groovier “Heavy On My Mind”. Perfumed with a sixties psychedelia flute led chorus, there’s a Woodstockin’ rockin’ charm in the air. Sure, throw in Franky on the maracas and Gavin Glass on keyboards, hey it’s a percussion party. At this point “Honey Skippin’“ shows up and the place turns into a festival. Crowd surfing down the front, amicable head nodding at the back. Another girlie movie on screen as this seventies cop show theme tune gives the punters pleasure. Extended, indulgent guitars bleed straight into “Jam“. And jam they do, like their life support machine depends on it.
Suddenly “Shake Me Off” implodes into the air. The current single, the video for it memorable with a huge burning phallus that gets jumped through by a motorbike. Infectious, fast and furious. Devoured by the fans, several of whom are now surfing. “Soul Brother” keeps the train on track, pimping up the ride with skulls, feathers, babes and even more boobs filling the screen. The loveable and laid back “Homeslice” calms it all down a bit. Dedicating it to his mother and brother, Soper sings it from every chamber in his Hot Sprocket heart. A semi naked encore and final call to stage dive follows for the last track “Boogie Woogie”. Craziness takes over. Amy, the backing singer, disappears into the crowd, Tim has no top on, Andrew drums on, endurance in his jacket, Franky’s shirt is stuck to him and Gav hammers out the keys. This is a prizefighter performance with more energy than a crate of Red Bull. Stand back and watch The Hot Sprockets fly.
Review by Ciara Sheahan
Photos by Anamaria Meiu