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Vocoustics: The Hot Seats @ The Blue Lamp, Sun21Aug

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Vocoustics Promotions Presents:

THE HOT SEATS (playing 2 sets)

Sunday 21st August

The Blue Lamp (121 Gallowgate, Aberdeen, AB25 1BU)

Phone: 01224 647472

10 on the door from 8pm

The Hot Seats

The Hot Seats | Facebook


An absurdist bluegrass stringband quintet from Richmond, Virginia....

I wonder if 'for a good time call The Hot Seats' is written on every bathroom wall in Richmond, Virginia . . . The band has taken its raw talent and honed and crafted it precisely to sound easy and effortless" (Rochester City Paper)

The Hot Seats play stringband music with simple intentions: to keep the role of traditional musician as entertainer and commentator alive and kicking. Homer and Jethro, The Skillet Likkers, George Formby, Harry Reser, Woodie Guthrie, Gus Cannon, Phil Ochs, Tommy Jarrell, Arthur Smith, Uncle Dave Macon, Frank Zappa these are pools from which The Hot Seats draw. Their original music is simultaneously hard to classify and instantly identifiable, combining the virtuosic soloing and tightness of bluegrass, the band-driven rhythm of old time, the jerky bounce of ragtime, and the swagger of good old rock and roll. Add some eastern melodies, a few modernist ideals, and an uncanny feel for comic timing, and you begin to approach this sound.

While striving to push tradition forward, the band takes great pride in their ability to play within a tradition style as well as without. When it's bluegrass, they bring you back to the 1960's era of Flatt and Scruggs or Jimmy Martin; when it's old-time, they try and channel the Camp Creek Boys; when it's time for a bit of satire, it's the images of Frank Zappa or the Fugs towards which they gravitate. Ultimately, the Hot Seats are most concerned with making the music that they want to hear and playing in the manner that is most entertaining to themselves; the fact that audiences and critics alike have embraced it is almost a wonderful coincidence.

The band's first release under the new name, Retreat To Camp Candy Temptation Island highlights the bands flexibility, moving between bluegrass, ragtime, oldtime, jugband, and Klezmer with ease, injecting humor and sharp witted commentary along the way. Featuring a mixture of original songs and tunes and traditionals pulled from the depths of the public domain,

Retreat to Camp Candy Island is evidence of the band's dedication to treat stringband music as a modern form, open to current themes and sensibilities, as well as a tradition that is deserving of preservation.

Vocoustics Promotions : Aberdeen

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by all accounts they were superb in the Barn. should be a great gig!

they had an interesting time getting to Banchory...

from tour blog....UK 2011 Blog III | Facebook

After a leisurely morning in Stornoway Mike picked us up and took us to the ferry, bound for Ullapool. Another easy ride (we're told the wintertime ferries are not so smooth and nausea free), however, we had a big day of travel yet to go. Because of the particular brand of Free Church of Scotland that's ascribed to on Lewis, almost nothing happens on Sundays. They used to chain the swingsets in the park so that kids couldn't swing on Sundays(!). It's relaxed a bit, but even still, only one ferry runs on Sundays, and not until 2:30pm. Now, when the ferry doesn't leave you on the west coast of Scotland until 5:30pm, and you have to be on the east coast (almost) for 8pm, how's your travel time looking? More like you need to time travel. It's only ~120 miles from Ullapool to Banchory, the site of our next gig, but these aren't wide, smooth, and straight American roads, folks, this is the Highlands, and if you don't know what I mean, just try getting from Richmond to Staunton, VA sometime only driving the bluest of blue roads (not even the secondaries, more like tertiaries).

We were met by Gerald (more on Gerry in a paragraph) in Ullapool where he spent the night in the van - hastened (briskly and brusquely) into the van, and off we went. Gerald managed to turn a 4 hour drive into a 3 hour drive (much to the consternation of the stomachs of those of us in the back of the van), and we rolled up to the spot around 8:45pm. Luckily, Susan, our promoter for the evening had found us an opening act in the form of Isaac Barnes: 12 year old blues-y electric guitar whiz. This kid has real chops, and is about as nice and humble a person as you could want to meet. Probably a bit disconcerting for this poor audience to go from someone as genuinely smiley and cute as he to us grizzled road dogs (ok, maybe I exaggerate a little, but hey). Nonetheless, twas a great time. We were all a bit moon-eyed from our day of travel and zero prep time, but we handled it with our usual graceless panache, and whipped through an hour and a half of raucousness. After the show, we were handed a massive box of food and shown to our accommodations, where we promptly shoved our faces full and passed out (ah the glamorous lifestyle we lead!).

Now, back to Gerry for a second. The thing I failed to mention is that it was his birthday on this day! So, let's recap. The day before his birthday, Gerry drove from Uig to Inverness and spent the night in the van during an especially nasty rainstorm (even for Scotland). He then met us at the ferry, drove like a madman (a safe madman) to get us to another gig,helped us set up, helped us take down, and then escorted us to our (and his) lodgings. On his birthday. You know that I like to have fun with the verbal abuse we regularly receive from Gerry, but it is a moment like this that really, to me, signifies his professionalism and dedication. Besides, how else would YOU wanna be treated? So let's hear it for Gerry Roche, a king among road managers and men worldwide!

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it was pretty funny getting a phone call from susan at 5.30 to tell me the hot seats had only just got off the ferry in ullapool and did i know of anyone who could do a set with no notice. Isaac is incredibly talented and was more than upto the task. wish I'd been there to see it.

the hot seats pulled up, unpacked and were on stage playing within 10 minutes. no messing. (just make sure they've checked their transport schedule well before the gig!)

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Isaac is my godson and i've watched him play a good few times and he totally blows me away each time. I have a cracking photo of him aged 5 or 6 "playing" my jazzmaster....he could hardly lift it.

He was really brilliant. Great confidence on stage for a 12 year old. Apparently we were lucky as he improvises most of what he plays so we were hearing material that was unique for that night!

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