(Georgian Theatre, Stockton)
The Hotpots are not that type of band.
But if you want a laugh, and to sing loud, and possibly to do a conga, then this lot are probably your boys.
The Georgian is a small venue, and while it’s busy, it’s not full to bursting. Things are not helped by the incessant going off of the fire alarm before the band make their entrance. It makes it feel like the worst episode of QI ever.
The band arrive at around 9 and frankly, they storm it. While the audience is not huge, it is loud, boisterous, and having a ball. All through the night the crowd sing and dance; most of us know most of the words. And sing along with gusto.
They do around 90 minutes, which includes some new stuff, some of their old favourites, as well as a few gig favourites (including the aforementioned conga). Many of their best songs are full of lusty call-and-response moments, and either deploy killer tunes of their own, or steal good ones (like Egg Sausage Chips & Beans, for example). But it wouldn’t be the same without songs like Keys, Wallet, Phone and Chippy Tea. And so we get them, and a bunch of other familiar bits of Hotpots fun. After an encore, off they go. The job of entertaining an audience of gobby Teessiders was done more than adequately.
They don’t get this way that often (though they’ve played The Cluny in Newcastle a couple of times), but here’s hoping they find their way here again quite soon because they’re a top turn.