By John Clay, Rock At Night Columnist-London
John Clay a.k.a Clark Kent records bands live in session with the cinematic flair of an auteur. Often, the bands are encouraged to play previously unheard material. They occasionally say ‘yes’.
Welcome to the limbo between documentary performance and official music video! Live Session 1 Series.
HOTGOTHIC rock. The end. Well, I guess that’s not the end as it would be wrong not to mention their confrontational lyrics and image manipulation; their propensity to court controversy, but with a sincere belief structure, and yeah … the most fun you can have on stage without resorting to heavy guitars. Have fun watching HOTGOTHIC’s latest live version of ‘Cockfight’, a song first released on their ‘Crackrock’ E.P.
HOTGOTHIC are – and always will be – a band that goes out of their way to shock people out of an apathetic viewing experience. Be it the burning of a ten pound note on stage or their well-produced tongue in check videos, the three piece aim to make people sit up and listen to left field subversive thought. If you’ve read a Bret Easton Ellis novel and thought ‘thank god, I’m not alone’, then imagine such transgression set to music. Well, now you don’t have to imagine. You just have to press play.
As ever, the session was done in under two hours with no specific idea in mind. We had a strobe light and some knowledge of the others tendencies: HOTGOTHIC’s stage presence is dependent on Stacy Picard (singer) walking around and finding stuff to stand on or hide under on whim, whereas Jonathon (bassist) is a visual rock, sticking to one spot for the most part and keeping the music going. New keyboardist Katy is fairly stationary as well, so my main goal was to cut from whatever pose Stacy had affected to the others and then shoot back to him when I sensed he’d adopted a new position.
I was rather proud of Stacy’s pushing the camera away to the lyric of ‘Are you eye-balling me boy?’ You can’t quite see him do that in the finished piece but then, the best thing about this short sharp burst of vitriol is that you only get to glimpse little snaps of what everyone is doing. Musically I was thinking of Territorial Pissings by Nirvana, in that I wanted something so angry that it seeks its own destruction as opposed to harm caused to others. I’m not saying that HOTGOTHIC sound anything like Nirvana, but I definitely shot them with the jerky violence my mind associates with that song.
It’s amazing how much music coupled with lyrical insight can correspond and indeed ‘direct’ the camera. I still have some way to go and am eternally thankful to HOTGOTHIC and the other bands in this series for lending me their time and trust.
By the way, the mixing of the track was handled by bassist, Jonathon Campbell Ratcliffe. The visual treatment also bears his handiwork as well. More from this band in the next season of the live shows. Only one more vid to go now. Keep watching to see who gets to bring this first round of music performances to a grand close.
Members: Malibu Stacy (vocals), Dr Jacket (lead bass), Katy Nameless (keys) Professor Tsunami (drums); Genre: CRACKROCK; Home Town: London
Check out the bands Facecrack:
LINK TO VIDEO: Live Sessions Season 1 Video 12: HOTGOTHIC
Season 1 Video 12: HOTGOTHIC
Like this? Well, check out my previous session with Dark Willow here:
- A candid interview with River of UK band Idle Fire - August 7, 2022
- Rock At Night Interview: UK band IDLE FIRE on politics and identity - August 1, 2022
- Starsha Lee: A Conversation on Images and Childhood - July 19, 2022