Razzle Dazzle! Take The Blues Brothers vibrant stage demeanour, add the soulful vocals of a guy who is a massive Aretha Franklin / Queen fan, yank a drummer with a heart of gold and perfect beat and let them loose on the lonesome streets of Sheffield (and Rotherham, the new Berlin.)
Whatchoo got? The Hot Soles. Sole Brother A. Sole Brother B. Kieran (vocals, guitar) and Richard (drums) blew me away one cold night at The Harley (my regular joint for gigs, that’s a given). It was a fine saturday gig curated by the folks of X-Ray Horse and the sheer amount of energy emanated by Kieran and Richard lit the place with the fire of a thousand dying stars.
You always hear about “that gig” that everyone remembers, the one where the guitarist decides to walk off the stage and play amongst the crowd. The one with the little jazz fills by the drummer, just adding a little flair to his job. That was that gig for me. Kieran‘s guitar had a wireless connection to the amp, so he ran to the back of the joint while Richard kept deftly banging the drum. That moment always stayed with me and it’s the signature move of the band.
Involve the audience. Make them enjoy the gig. Show them that you appreciate them as much as they appreciate you. That means a lot and I think that’s what I love the most about The Hot Soles: their warmth. No egos, no worrying about “scene status reports”, no damn beefing, just honest, soulful music for you to dance, tap your foot and maybe hug a good friend.
And all this time, not a damn album. Not even an EP! Sure, a couple of catchy singles, and a legion of fans bought by the sweat, blood and tears of live gigging. Rumours of their lighting being bottled at Tesla Studios keep roaring like the beast of Exmoor but if I knew anything, I would share it with ya, wouldn’t I?
The Harley. Soyo. Tramlines, both official and secret shows. A real ale festival at Magna centre in Rotherham. The Bowery (where Kieran went upstairs, still playing). Every single time I was a witness to their show, the “half circle of death”, that horrible empty space at gigs that kills the vibe, was absent. Everyone having a ball; young and old shaking their limbs to fiery vibes. What a band to witness live! Maybe that’s why there’s no album (yet), it’s a special experience that is hard to capture on record. But I have hope, no, faith, that some genius will be able to pull it off.
In the meantime, remember this: two soul brothers, a lot of love for music and a secret about a bassist no one talks about. Some say his bones rest near the beer garden of Delaney’s, but that’s all mumbo jumbo, if you ask me.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López.