It’s been over a year since The Hot Damn! strode out onto the stage at Steelhouse Festival with smiles large enough to park your car in. They took the crowd by storm on that afternoon and, by all accounts, have not stopped since. I’ll admit I’ve not searched them out with any particular focus, but when I heard they were the other part of this bill with Black Spiders, I was very pleased.
The Hot Damn!
The Patriot, Crumlin – 24 September 2023
Words And Photography: Paul Hutchings
Tonight, the four members are in an almost end-of-tour party mood. They enter in their traditional, confident and sassy style and proceed to bring some colourful brightness on a grey evening.
You can’t help but be engaged by the vibrancy these four ladies bring. Drummer Josie O’Toole is a whirl of hair and arms as she crashes her way around the small kit crammed at the side of the stage. From the opening Fizz Buzz Crash through to the finale of I Didn’t Like You Anyway, she rarely lets up, even finishing songs whilst standing.
The band are a tight unit, and for all their smiles and silliness, they can play all right. Gill Montgomery possesses the lungs for the songs and the humour to banter with the crowd.
Best hat of the night went to Laurie Buchanan, who also sets several songs alight with some fine fretwork whilst the pink dungaree-clad Lzi Hayes keeps the low end in order. They may not have many songs available yet, but Gill promises us the album is on its way. We’ll take that and enjoy the rest of the show.
Dance Around gets people doing just that, whilst Loud & Clear is a pumping tune. There’s a lovely sense of humour with the inclusion of the Merch Song, an ode to buying a bit from the stocked table at the back of the venue.
Live Laugh Love is a song about those hideous word signs people have in kitchens and bathrooms, although I think The Hot Damn! may be in favour of them!
By the time we hit the end, 45 minutes have flown by, and as I Didn’t Like You Anyway fades and the girls have their crowd shot taken, they’ve won a few new fans.
Watching the band lugging their own gear into their van, clad in raincoats to avoid a drenching, you can’t help but feel for them. It’s not all fun in rock ‘n’ roll. Not by a long way, but the Hot Damn! are moving in the right direction.