Hot Leg @ Birmingham Academy 2 – 9th March 2009


And not a Darkness song to be heard!

Love him or loathe him Justin Hawkins can’t be dismissed, and appearing at Birmingham’s Academy 2 with a “Hello Wembley” was not entirely unexpected.

The glam rock revival continued tonight with eye liner, bandanas and bleached blond hair but more importantly a group of talented musicians who allow Hawkins to be…. Justin Hawkins.


The audience were a mix ranging from 7 to 71, with Hawkins dedicating ’Kissing In The Wind’ to the oldest Hot Leg fan, 71 year old Rita Peachy. Curiosity brought a lot of the audience to the venue just ‘to see’ and although the night started quite subdued even with two singles ‘Jesus’ and ‘Trojan Guitar’ in the opening few numbers, the doubters soon began to warm to the eccentric Hawkins and his wonderful falsetto voice.

By the time the band got to ‘Chickens’ along with some friendly banter between Hawkins and a few girls the crowd had been swept away with the enthusiasm and showmanship of the man and his music.

Is the power ballad dead? Not according to the book of this band, 3 songs banded together,with the crowd’s arms in the air and even a few cigerette lighters thrown in for good measure.


The third single from the new album ’Red Light Fever’ ’Cocktails’ closed the set and saw Hawkins being carried shoulder high through crowd a la Angus Young.

An encore was certainly on the cards and deservedly so, and the band didn’t disappoint with 3 more numbers and Hawkins climbing on security barriers to reach the crowd.

Justin Hawkins has been to the top and the bottom of the clichéd rock and roll rollercoaster ride and survived and is now having to start at the bottom and pay his dues again. Tonight showed that a band with this much talent and a front man in Justin Hawkins, HOT LEG are going to get into your head and not go away.

Love Him or Loathe Him, Hawkins needs a big arena and a big stage to play on and no doubt he will get there again. As Freddie Mercury once said “Talent Will Out My Dear”.


Review & Photos – Andy Whitehouse

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