Here’s one, of time passed…
We thought it would never happen, after break ups and semi-make ups, Hot Water Music have finally touched U.K shores and are blasting the hell out of some, or what seems like, some old mans social club in the middle of fuck knows where known only as, the Irish Centre. Okay, I’ll do a little run down first, because it’s me writing this and it’s never a straight forward day is it?
We started the day, met in Manchester, got the train to Leeds. My heart was broke at one point when a 5 or 6 year old girl on the train turns to her mother and says, “Mummy, I love you.” I’m such a sucker.
In Leeds, we meet up with the fourth member of our usually 2 strong team, Mr Joe Brownridge. So far we have Anthony Barlow, Danny Rayner, Mr. Joe and myself. Being the ultimate arsehole I am, I decide it’ll be a good idea to walk to the Irish Centre, with not an ounce of knowledge of where it is, after an hour or so of walking through Leeds council estates (big fun) we decide to rely on the bullshit technology that is the iPhone.
So we get to the Centre, eventually get an interview with the lovely Jason Black and as we return to the venue Milloy are part way through their set. They play with such intensity I have to take a moment to think back to when I saw a support band play so well, can’t think of any right now. Next up is the Magnificent, who supported the Lawrence Arms on their Leeds venture, the crowd do not seem interested in the bands songs or on stage banter, but I do not think they played bad. At the end of their set, Chuck Ragan joins them for a full band cover of Alkaline Trio’s “Bleeder” which frankly, was the perfect start to what everyone had been waiting for…
Hot Water Music take to the stage and the crowd, frankly, go ape shit. A brief introduction and we’re straight in there. They open with ‘A Flight And A Crash’ (check the title duh!) and the place explodes. Before anyone can take a breath we’re followed by ‘Remedy’, a fan favourite and the last single (to my knowledge) to be released by the boys. The set continues with other well known songs such as ‘Wayfarer’, ‘Giver’ and the song that gave the album ‘Caution’ it’s title ‘I Was On A Mountain’ (such a tune).
The intensity of the band cannot, or has not been matched by any band I have ever seen. Chuck Ragan’s hard rocking antics, Chris Wollard’s borderline cocky crowd smiles and the deep concentration of the face of one of punk rocks best bassists, Jason Black. I’d say it is unfortunate, and I guess it is, but due to joining Against Me! George Rebelo is not on the drum kit tonight, luckily, Lagwagon drummer Dave Raun, who does exceedingly well (Oh Mr. Kipling!), playing songs that he didn’t write.
The set is a brilliant blend of new and old, featuring old classics such as ‘Free Radio Gainesville’, ‘Just Don’t Say You Lost It’ and ‘Alachua’. After and intense non stop perpetual boner of a setlist, the band retire, leaving the crowd anxious and almost riot bent on just a few more songs, and like fuck they’re not gonna give them to us! The band return to stage, and give a shout out to their good friends, a band called “The Bouncing Souls,” they tear into a rendition of “True Believers” (much to Sarah Hadfields regret as she was not there) which rivals the original in a way that I’m sure shocked a few BS fans.
A couple more songs, Kerrang! favorite, ‘Choked And Seperated’ and finally ‘Turnstyles’ and the best night of my life comes to a close. Well kind of….
We ring a taxi under the pseudonym Sebastian DeBlanc, and head towards Santiago’s, the best pub in the world. A lot of Against Me!, Nofx and Black Flag and then a lovely train ride home. Fuck yeah!