Hot Rods/Members – Live

Reviewed in the NME, 7 April, 1979

Eddie And The Hot Rods
The Members


“The high posing macho, the costumes, the lights… the lights changing in time to the music! I consider that to be an insult to peoples’ intelligence.” – Tina Weymouth, NME, July 1978.

Eddie and the Hot Rods have plenty of big bulbs stacked behind their amps these days. Flashing, dazzling red, blue and orange, a row of blinding white floodlights – and they all change in time to the music! Rainbow a go-go! How impressive!
By the end of their show there is enough wattage being burned onstage to take Blue Oyster Cult through the recording of two dozen triple live sets, enough pretty colours to fill Old Trafford with Rasta album sleeves.
But, sadly, Eddie And The Hot Rods themselves are not a very bright or particularly colourful aural proposition these days. And no amount of gloss can disguise this was a pitifully perfunctory rock ‘n’ roll show, played out by a band of artistically redundant dinosaurs. It was remarkable only in its sheer, numbing mediocrity.
What was once greasy R&B is now no more than bludgeoning bombast.
The Hot Rods tread wearily through awfully affected, overblown originals (‘Media messiahs’ and ‘Power And The Glory’) and then ruin great songs like ‘Gloria’ and ‘The Kids Are Alright’; totally swamping the original, receptive brilliance of the latter, for instance.
Barrie Masters’ renowned gymnastic frontman antics have much the same effect as the light show – they do absolutely nothing to relieve the boredom. Besides, someone who has to rely on much macho cockrock postures is never going to be the new Olga Korbut.
And I used to queue regularly outside the Marquee only three years ago to lap up the same band.
In 1976, the Hot Rods, more than any other band at the time, first lured me away from the suburban disco-floor to rock gigs in the capital. But times change, values too, and Eddie And The Hot Rods were always doomed to be too short sighted a proposition for these ears.
Take it or leave it? The Rods should knock it on the head.
The Members, by way of contrast, were great.
They played a truncated set and seemed all the stronger for it, highlighting the best tracks from the album along with ‘Offshore Banking Business’, reggae that is felt not fashioned, and the spirited here-comes-the-weekend thrash of ‘Goodbye To The Job’ before finishing up in Larry Wallis’ ‘Police Car’ with X-Ray Spexer Rudi Thompson on searing sax.
With The Members. though, it is not so much the songs, crisply evocative thumbnail sketches that they are; it’s the way they sing ’em. Make no mistake, the kinetic feisty Members – when a few strictly personal internal problems have been resolved are going to be enormous, and deservedly so.
Then their only problem will be whether to become tax exiles or stick with inshore banking business.

Adrian Thrills


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